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The  Letters  of 
Warren    Hastings 

to  his  Wife 


- 


- 


The   Letters  of 

Warren  Hastings 

V  "  ° 

to   his   Wife 

Transcribed  in  full  from  the 
Originals  in  the  British  Museum 


INTRODUCED    AND.    ANNOTATED    BY 

SYDNEY    C.    GRIER 

AUTHOR  OF 
'THE  GREAT  PROCONSUL/  'IN  FURTHEST  IND,'  ETC.,  ETC. 


WILLIAM     BLACKWOOD     AND     SONS 

EDINBURGH    AND    LONDON 

MCMV 


All  Rights  reserved 


DS473 


HENRY  MORSE  STEPHEMS 


TABLE    OF    CONTENTS. 


PAGE 

GENERAL  INTRODUCTION  .  .  I 


SERIES    I. 

INTRODUCTION:    INDIA   IN    1780  .  .  .  .38 

CHAPTER  I.      JULY  TO   SEPTEMBER,    1780  ...  50 

(LETTERS  i.  TO  x.) 

CHAPTER   II.      SEPTEMBER  TO  DECEMBER,    1780  .  .  76 

(THE  CARNATIC  DISASTER. 
LETTERS  XI.  TO  XIX. 
LETTER  XX.) 

SERIES   II. 

INTRODUCTION:    INDIA   IN    1781  .  .  .  .        I IO 

(MRS   HASTINGS  AT  PATNA. 
LETTERS   I.   TO   X. 
THE  SETTLEMENT  OF   BENARES.) 

SERIES   III. 
INTRODUCTION  :  INDIA  IN  1784  .  .          .          .      165 

CHAPTER  I.    JANUARY,  1784  .          .          .          .176 

(MRS  HASTINGS'  RETURN  TO  ENGLAND. 

LETTERS  I.  TO  VI.) 
CHAPTER  II.      FEBRUARY  AND   MARCH,    1784      .  .  .        223 

(LETTERS  vn.  TO  xv.) 


SI 2246 


Vl  TABLE  OF  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  III.    AUGUST,  SEPTEMBER  AND  OCTOBER,  1784      .      278 

(AFFAIRS  OF  BENARES,  OUDH  AND  DELHI. 
LETTERS  XXIV.  AND  XXV.) 

CHAPTER  IV.    NOVEMBER  AND  DECEMBER,  1784        .          .      337 
(LETTERS  xxvi.  TO  xxvin.) 

CHAPTER   V.      DECEMBER,    1784,   AND  JANUARY,    1785  .  .        393 

(MRS   HASTINGS   IN   ENGLAND. 

LETTERS   XXIX.   TO   XXXII. 

THE  DEPARTURE  OF  HASTINGS.) 

CONCLUDING  CHAPTER      ......        420 

APPENDICES. 

I.   THE  RELATIVES  OF  WARREN   HASTINGS       .  .  .        446 

TABLE  A.  RELATIVES  ON  THE  FATHER'S  SIDE. 
TABLE  B.  RELATIVES  ON  THE  MOTHER'S  SIDE. 
TABLE  C.  RELATIVES  BY  MARRIAGE. 

II.   THE  FIRST  MARRIAGE  OF  WARREN   HASTINGS         .  -452 

III.  MRS  HASTINGS  AND   HER    GERMAN   RELATIVES        .  .        459 

IV.  THE  CHARGES   AT  THE  TRIAL  ....        464 


INDEX    ........        469 


ILLUSTRATIONS. 


(Arranged  chronologically. ) 


WARREN   HASTINGS   AS  A   YOUNG   MAN 

(Sir  Joshua  Reynolds]        Facing  p.  3 1 

(Reproduced  from  '  The  Private  Life  of  Warren  Hastings* 
by  the  kind  permission  of  Sir  C.  La^vson.) 

MRS   IMHOFF  AND  CHILD         .  (R.  E.  Pine)    .  .  n          98 

(Reproduced from  the  engraving  by  Dickinson  in  the  British  Museum.} 

WARREN   HASTINGS   IN    1784  (A.  W.  Devis}  .  n        420 

(From  the  original  painting  in  the  National  Portrait  Gallery.) 

MRS  HASTINGS  IN  1783          .  (John  Zqffany)  .         ,,       247 

(From  the  original  painting,  by  kind  permission  of  Miss  Winter.) 

WARREN  HASTINGS  IN  1793  (George  Stubbs)          .        n      438 

(From  the  engraving  by  G.  T.  Stubbs.) 

MRS  HASTINGS  IN  LATER  LIFE       (Ozias  Humphry}        Frontispiece 

(Reproduced from  '  The  Private  Life  of  Warren  Hastings,' 
by  the  kind  permission  of  Sir  C.  Laivson.) 


GENERAL    INTRODUCTION. 

"  WARREN  HASTINGS  was  Governor  of  India.  He  treated 
the  natives  very  cruelly,  and  was  impeached." 

This  sentence,  with  slight  variations  in  phraseology  and 
spelling,  confronted  the  present  writer  conspicuously,  a 
year  or  two  ago,  on  the  first  sheet  of  every  set  of  answers 
to  a  certain  examination-paper.  The  victims  had  been 
invited,  with  the  large  and  airy  generosity  of  examination- 
papers  intended  for  the  very  young,  to  say  what  they 
knew  about  Warren  Hastings,  and  with  rash  confidence 
they  had  assumed  that  here  at  any  rate  was  a  ques- 
tion they  could  answer.  "  Diluted  Macaulay,  filtered 
through  the  minds  of  governesses  into  those  of  girls," 
was  the  verdict  of  the  moment,  but  upon  reflection,  a 
curious  fact  leaped  into  prominence.  Not  one  of  the 
youthful  historians  knew — or  appeared  to  know — that 
Hastings  was  triumphantly  acquitted  on  every  charge 
brought  against  him.  Even  Macaulay  does  not  attempt 
to  deny  the  fact,  though  he  does  his  best  to  minimise  its 
significance,  so  that  it  can  hardly  have  been  omitted 
from  their  teaching.  How  is  it  that  it  had  so  completely 
escaped  their  memories  ? 

Further  experience  has  induced  the  conclusion  that  the 
same  limitation  of  knowledge  exists  widely  in  a  more 
surprising  quarter.  "  We  know  the  verdict,"  writes, 
with  unconscious  mendacity,  a  reviewer  in  a  great  daily, 
the  name  of  which  it  were  charity  to  withhold,  "  and  in 
the  main  nothing  yet  adduced  has  ever  availed  to  shake 
the  opinion  of  the  majority  in  its  justice.  Certainly  not " 

A 


2  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

the  book  under  review — the  whole  aim  of  which  was  to 
justify  the  verdict !  It  is  clearly  true  of  Parliaments  as 
well  as  of  men,  that  the  evil  which  they  do  lives  after 
them,  while  the  good  is  interred  with  their  bones. 

This  readiness  to  acquiesce  in  an  imaginary  result  of 
the  Trial  unfavourable  to  Hastings  is  the  more  remark- 
able that  during  the  later  years  of  his  long  life  he  stood 
upon  a  pinnacle  of  universal  respect — even  veneration, 
that  is  rarely  attained  and  more  rarely  deserved.  Public 
opinion  had  changed  to  a  striking  degree  in  the  course 
of  that  long  agony.  Macaulay  speaks  of  a  feeling  in  his 
favour  as  strong  and  as  unreasonable  as  the  preposses- 
sion against  him  had  been,  but  this  final  feeling  was  the 
result  of  an  object-lesson  seven  years  long.  The  small 
emaciated  man  who  faced  unflinchingly  the  fiercest  on- 
slaughts of  the  greatest  orators  of  the  day  had  something 
more  than  hardihood  to  sustain  him.  The  natives  whom 
he  was  said  to  have  oppressed  sent  address  after  address 
to  protest  their  affection  for  and  confidence  in  him, 
though  studiously  discouraged  by  the  government  of  his 
successors ;  the  witnesses  summoned  to  testify  against 
him  gave  evidence  in  his  favour.  Some  of  the  charges 
against  him  were  abandoned,  all  the  rest,  when  deprived 
of  the  mist  of  verbiage  in  which  they  had  been  en- 
wrapped, and  reduced  to  plain  English,  were  disproved. 
Unkindest  cut  of  all  for  his  enemies,  their  own  Governor- 
General,  who  had  been  sent  out  to  ban  the  policy  of 
Mr  Hastings,  returned — like  the  honest,  stupid  fighter  he 
was — to  bless  it,  Balaam-wise.  Waverers  returned  to 
their  allegiance,  like  the  poet  Cowper,  who  had  turned 
against  his  boyhood's  friend  in  horror  at  his  supposed 
iniquities,  as  is  shown  by  passages  in  his  Letters,1  but 
made  the  amende  honorable  in  the  short  poem  which  he 
addressed  to  him.  The  enforced  retirement  of  the  victor 
to  the  country,  and  the  discovery  that  the  savings  of  his 
lifetime — less  than  his  chief  enemy  had  amassed  in  a  five 

1  Cited  by  Thompson  from  the  earliest  edition. 


GENERAL   INTRODUCTION.  3 

years'  Indian  career — had  been  exhausted  by  the  expenses 
of  the  Trial,  completed  the  reaction,  and  the  years  that 
followed  served  only  to  raise  Hastings  higher  in  the 
estimation  of  his  countrymen. 

The  friends  who  had  been  true  to  him  through  good 
and  evil  report  found  it  difficult  to  believe  that  the  world 
was  on  their  side  at  last.  "  I  have  always  expected," 
writes  David  Anderson,1  "  that  Time  would  show  your 
Character  in  its  true  Light  in  the  Eyes  of  all  Men. — But 
I  scarcely  expected  that  you  would  yourself  have  had  so 
fully  the  Means  of  proving  it."  "  I  knew  that  Posterity 
would  do  you  Justice,"  says  Thompson,  "but  I  had  not 
dared  to  hope  for  it  from  the  living."  "  You  may  say,  in 
a  better  sense  than  King  David — mine  eye  hath  seen  its 
desire  on  mine  enemies — for  you  have  beheld  their  con- 
version, whereas  he  meant  their  destruction,"  says  Baber. 
This  language  was  not  exaggerated.  It  was  the  faithful 
Thompson  who,  when  Britain  stood  "  alone  against  a 
world  in  arms,"  and  her  future  champion  was  known 
only  as  "  Lord  Wellesley's  brother  Arthur,"  unfairly 
pushed  forward  by  family  influence,  wished  Hastings  to 
be  summoned  to  the  headship  of  a  Military  Council,  with 
Sir  Sidney  Smith  to  execute  the  operations.  But  it  was 
Windham — whom  readers  of  Fanny  Burney's  Diary  will 
remember  as  one  of  his  most  inveterate  opponents  during 
the  Trial — who  exclaimed  in  public,  "  Oh  that  we  had  the 
spirit  of  a  Hastings  to  contend  against  the  ambition  of 
Bonaparte !  "  Sheridan  apologized,2  with  singular  in- 
felicity, for  his  famous  speech,  on  the  ground  that,  as  an 
advocate,  he  was  obliged  to  think  of  effect  rather  than 
truth.  Philip  Francis  himself,  with  a  meanness  of  which 
few  other  men  would  have  been  capable,  made  overtures 
to  obtain  Hastings'  support  in  his  candidature  for  the 

1  To  avoid  the  multiplication  of  footnotes,  it  may  be  stated  here  that  the 
quotations  and  details  given  in  the  following  pages  are  taken  from  the  un- 
published "Miscellaneous  Correspondence  of  Warren  Hastings,"  in  the 
British  Museum,  unless  it  is  otherwise  stated. 

2  '  Creevey  Papers,'  I.  59. 


4  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

post  of  Governor-General,  but  overtures  and  apology  were 
alike  rejected.  In  like  manner,  Lord  Minto's  tardy 
attempts  at  atonement  for  his  behaviour  as  Sir  Gilbert 
Elliot  were  ignored,  while  the  compliment  offered  by  his 
successor,  Lord  Moira,  was  accepted  with  delight.  He 
expressed  his  joy  on  finding  himself  compelled,  for  family 
reasons,  to  add  the  name  of  Hastings  to  his  patronymic 
of  Rawdon,  since  to  bear  the  name  of  the  Governor- 
General  whose  departure  they  had  never  ceased  to  regret 
would  endear  him  to  the  natives  of  India. 

Hastings  himself  regarded  with  wonder  his  conquest 
of  the  Chairman  and  Vice-Chairman  of  the  Court  of 
Directors,  "  both  once  my  decided  enemies,  and  one  till 
this  occasion  my  inveterate  one,"  when  his  annuity  was 
granted  afresh  in  1804,  but  he  did  not  fully  gauge  the 
strength  of  the  reaction  in  his  favour  until  he  gave  evi- 
dence before  Parliament  on  the  question  of  the  renewal  of 
the  East  India  Company's  charter  in  1813.  Both  Houses, 
and  especially  the  House  of  Commons,  were  strongly 
prejudiced  against  the  Company,  and  resolved  on  cur- 
tailing its  powers,  but  "  I  was  heard,"  he  writes,  "  with 
the  most  respectful  attention ;  and  when  I  made  my  bow 
on  the  order  to  withdraw,  every  member  of  the  House, 
which  was  unusually  crowded,  rose  by  impulse  with  their 
heads  uncovered ;  an  honor,  which  none  in  the  power  of 
the  sovereignty  of  the  state  to  bestow  can  equal,  either 
in  intrinsic  worth,  or  in  its  impression  on  my  mind,  to 
which  it  scarce  ever  recurs  without  affecting  me  almost, 
and  in  conversation  quite  to  tears."  His  appearance  to 
receive  an  honorary  degree  at  Oxford  was  hailed  with 
"  reiterated  and  almost  continued  applauses,  such  as,  I 
was  told,  were  without  example,"  he  was  made  a  Privy 
Councillor,  and  might  have  received  the  peerage  which 
was  the  heart's  desire  of  Mrs  Hastings  had  he  not  in- 
sisted, as  a  preliminary  condition,  on  the  removal  of  the 
accusations  against  him  from  the  records  of  the  House  of 
Commons.  He  might  well,  as  it  seemed,  congratulate 


GENERAL   INTRODUCTION.  5 

himself  on  "  having  outlived  all  the  prejudices  which  have 
during  so  many  years  prevailed  against  me." 

It  is  one  of  the  ironies  of  history  that  this  national 
esteem,  so  tardily  accorded,  should  have  been  withdrawn, 
less  than  a  quarter  of  a  century  after  the  death  of  its 
object,  in  deference  to  the  impassioned  periods  of  a 
popular  journalist  in  a  hurry.  The  magic  of  Macaulay's 
style  has  rescued  from  oblivion,  and  preserved  for  use  as 
a  school-book,  a  piece  of  book-making  as  flagrant,  if  not 
as  tedious,  as  the  biography  he  professed  to  review.  Had 
he  dreamt  of  the  longevity  his  '  Edinburgh '  article  was 
destined  to  achieve,  he  would,  no  doubt,  as  in  the  case  of 
his  '  History,'  have  made  some  effort  to  consult  original 
authorities,  some  attempt  to  ascertain  the  actual  character 
of  the  man  of  whom  he  wrote.  There  were  many  still 
alive  who  had  known  Hastings  well,  many  more  whose 
family  traditions  kept  his  memory  green.  The  records  of 
the  Trial  were  accessible  to  the  world,  and  an  enormous 
accumulation  of  private  and  official  papers  had  been  only 
very  partially  utilised  by  Mr  Gleig.  But  why  spend  more 
time  than  need  be  on  a  magazine  article  ?  Here  was  a 
book  from  the  pen  of  a  Tory  journalist,  a  light  of  the 
rival  Magazine — what  more  natural,  or  more  agreeable, 
than  to  pulverise  it  ?  Let  it  be  conceded  at  once  that 
Gleig's  biography  deserved  the  worst  that  could  be  said 
of  its  workmanship.  Its  lack  of  system,  with  the  comple- 
mentary defect,  absence  of  an  index,  its  perpetual  antici- 
pations and  harkings-back,  its  absolute  stolidity,  make  it 
an  extraordinarily  difficult  book  to  read,  while  the  writer 
displays  frequently  a  singular  ineptness  in  entering  into 
the  mind  of  his  subject,  even  when  all  the  evidence  is 
clear  before  him.  But  it  does  provide  facts,  though  they 
may  be  difficult  to  disinter,  and  the  reviewer  turned  his 
back  deliberately  on  these,  and  elected  to  take  his  stand 
upon  fiction. 

It  must  never  be  forgotten  that  Macaulay,  following 
the  custom  of  his  day,  wrote  of  the  past,  and  especially 


O  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

the  more  immediate  past,  from  the  standpoint  of  a 
politician  and  a  doctrinaire.  The  tradition  of  his 
party  made  him  the  staunch  opponent  'of  Hastings  and 
his  policy,  and  to  his  associates  it  appeared  a  noble 
and  romantic  concession  to  allow  the  Great  Proconsul 
any  virtues  at  all.  Burke  had  denounced  Hastings, 
Burke  had  been  worsted  in  the  struggle,  and  Burke 
was  the  god  of  the  Liberal  party.  Ostensibly  attacking 
Hastings,  Macaulay  was  in  reality  defending  Burke.1 
Where  a  modern  apologist,  reading  the  passionate 
diatribes  with  which  the  orator  lashed  his  audience 
into  horror  and  himself  into  frenzy,  would  realise  that 
a  verdict  of  "Unsound  Mind"  was  the  most  that  could 
be  asked  for,  Macaulay  was  bent  on  obtaining  one  of 
"Justifiable  Homicide."  In  order  to  reconcile  this  with 
the  sneaking  kindness  for  Hastings  with  which  his  own 
Indian  career  had  inspired  him,  it  was  necessary  for 
him  to  disregard  all  the  evidence  that  told  against 
the  accusers,  and  to  construct  an  imaginary  figure  to 
represent  the  accused. 

So  far  as  is  shown  by  his  own  work,  Macaulay  made 
no  attempt  whatever  to  arrive  at  the  facts  even  by 
reading  the  records  of  the  Trial  and  the  evidence 
brought  forward.  The  speeches  of  Burke,  Sheridan,  and 
their  fellows,  together  with  fragmentary  Indian  recollec- 
tions of  his  own,  and  occasional  tit-bits  culled  from  the 
moral  reflections  of  the  unhappy  Mr  Gleig,  were  his 
material.  Doubtless  it  was  too  much  to  expect  that 
he  should  seek  permission  to  investigate  the  Hastings 
papers,  though  there  he  might  have  learnt  the  baseless- 
ness of  many  of  his  accusations.  To  take  one  instance 
only :  more  in  sorrow  than  in  anger,  he  expresses  the 
fear  that  during  his  Trial  Hastings  stooped  so  low  as 
to  court  the  aid  of  that  "  malignant  and  filthy  baboon 
John  Williams,  who  called  himself  Anthony  Pasquin." 

1  Observe  his  savage  censure  of  Fanny  Burney  for  her  modest  but  resolute 
defence  of  Hastings,  the  friend  of  her  family,  against  her  other  friend,  Burke. 


GENERAL    INTRODUCTION.  7 

But  among  the  letters  received  by  Hastings  in  the  early 
part  of  1797  is  a  blackmailing  epistle  from  this  man,  in 
which  he  introduces  himself  as  Hastings'  benefactor,  and 
threatens  to  turn  his  weapons  against  him  if  his  un- 
requited services  are  not  acknowledged.  But  the  printed 
records  of  the  Trial,1  which  it  needed  only  a  visit  to  a 
library  to  obtain,  would  have  overthrown  the  whole  struc- 
ture of  accusations  on  which  Macaulay  bases  his  blame. 
One  crucial  instance  may  be  mentioned.  In  his  account 
of  the  Oudh  Begums,  Macaulay  omits  altogether  to  state 
that  the  money  in  dispute  did  not  belong  to  the  ladies, 
but  to  their  son  and  grandson,  the  Nawab-Vizier,  and 
was  wrongfully  withheld  by  them  from  him  ! 

Having  determined,  perhaps  unconsciously,  on  writing 
history  afresh,  the  reviewer  was  bound  likewise  to  re- 
draw his  principal  character,  in  order  that  he  might  fit 
into  the  frame  prepared  for  him.  The  man  whom  natives 
and  Europeans  unite  in  acclaiming  as  the  tenderest  of 
friends  and  most  delicate  of  benefactors  must  be  dis- 
missed as  "  deficient  in  sympathy  for  the  sufferings  of 
others,"  with  a  "  heart  somewhat  hard."  It  is  true 
that  Gleig  does  not  throw  much  light  upon  this  side 
of  his  subject's  character,  but  here  the  testimony  of 
survivors,  to  which  we  have  already  alluded,  would 
have  been  invaluable.  To  any  one  acquainted  with 
the  Hastings  Papers,  Macaulay's  conclusion  appears 
ludicrously  absurd,  but  it  is  unfortunately  easier  to 
produce  an  effective  portrait — not  likeness — by  leaving 
out  all  traits  which  do  not  accord  with  a  preconceived 
idea  than  by  including  them.  The  man  in  the  street 
likes  the  figures  presented  to  him  to  be  distinctly 
labelled.  Macaulay  saw  Hastings  as  a  man  of  blood 
and  iron,  marching  through  rapine  to  the  establishment 
of  an  empire,  and  in  that  light  a  public  brought  up 
upon  Macaulay  has  seen  him  since.  While — so  great 
a  difference  does  a  change  in  the  point  of  view  make — 

1  See  Appendix  IV.,  "  The  Charges  at  the  Trial." 


8  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Francis,  in  daily  intercourse  with  him,  saw  him  as  a 
"timid,  desperate,  distracted  being,"  "weary  of  life." 

Since  the  difference  in  the  opinions  of  two  critics, 
both  opposed  to  him,  is  so  strongly  marked,  it  is  worth 
while  to  construct  from  the  opinions  of  other  contem- 
poraries and  from  his  correspondence — outside  that  con- 
tained in  this  book — a  picture  of  the  man.  In  the  fifty 
volumes  of  letters  received,  and  including  not  a  few 
letters  written,  by  Warren  Hastings  during  the  sixty 
years  from  1758  to  1818,  which  are  preserved  in  the 
British  Museum,  there  is  a  wealth  of  material  which 
has  hitherto  been  only  casually  used,  or  even  examined. 
No  selection  has  been  made  in  binding  and  cataloguing 
the  papers.  The  same  letter  appears  four  or  five  times 
over,  as  its  duplicates  arrived  by  different  channels,  and 
military  reports,  drafts  of  state  documents,  confidential 
epistles  which  the  recipient  is  entreated  to  burn  at  once, 
requests  for  help  and  assurances  of  gratitude,  formal 
notes  from  government  officials  and  the  tributes  of  foreign 
admirers,  succeed  one  another  in  bewildering  confusion, 
their  order  decided  only  by  the  accident  of  date — and  in 
not  a  few  cases  the  date  has  been  misread.  It  is  naturally 
the  more  personal  letters — those  to  and  from  Mr  and  Mrs 
Woodman,  Hastings'  sister  and  her  husband,  during  his 
Indian  career,  from  his  cousin  Samuel  Turner  and  his 
former  private  secretary,  George  Nesbitt  Thompson,  in 
the  years  immediately  succeeding  his  return  home,  and 
in  his  old  age  those  to  his  stepson,  Sir  Charles  Imhoff — 
which  provide  most  of  the  details  for  the  portrait. 

In  person,  then,  Hastings  was  small  and  thin,  with  a 
peculiarly  massive  forehead  —  a  feature  which  was  the 
more  noticeable  in  that  he  grew  bald  very  early.  Gleig, 
writing  apparently  from  oral  tradition,  says  that  he  at- 
tributed his  wretched  constitution  and  stunted  growth 
to  the  hardships  endured  at  his  first  preparatory  school 
at  Newington  Butts.  He  seems  to  have  been  a  martyr 
to  dyspepsia  for  the  greater  part  of  his  life,  and  his 


GENERAL   INTRODUCTION.  9 

letters  testify  to  the  Spartan  regimen1  which  kept  him 
in  health  sufficient  for  the  performance  of  his  over- 
whelming duties,  though  in  this  task  he  found  an  ally 
in  "  my  promptitude  and  facility  of  sleeping,  which 
have  been  my  blessing  through  life,  and  have  supported 
me  under  its  worst  trials."  Fanny  Burney's  tender 
heart  was  repeatedly  wrung  by  his  pale,  dejected,  and 
harassed  aspect  when  she  saw  him  in  Westminster 
Hall,  but  his  pained  astonishment  at  the  humiliations 
inflicted  on  him  was  quickly  replaced  by  a  stoical 
patience,  only  interrupted  by  a  single  outburst  of  appeal 
to  the  justice  of  the  court  against  the  unfair  methods 
of  his  accusers.  In  his  letters  to  his  Indian  friends  he 
insists  repeatedly  that  Mrs  Hastings  felt  the  misery  of 
the  Trial  more  acutely  than  he  did.2  Like  many  other 
hard  workers,  he  was  at  his  best  in  times  of  greatest 
pressure,  displaying  an  apparently  insatiable  appetite  for 
work,  which  would  be  succeeded,  when  the  pressure  was 
removed,  by  a  species  of  mental  lassitude.  "  I  brought 
from  town,"  he  writes  to  Sir  John  D'Oyly  in  1798,  "a 
mind  so  much  relaxed  by  the  long  and  unusual  dissi- 
pation which  it  had  undergone  there,  that  I  fear  you 
must  have  seen  the  effects  of  it  in  my  letter,  which 
was  written  more  from  a  sense  of  obligation,  than  from 
the  hope  of  communicating  any  thing  that  you  could 
be  interested  in  reading  or  I  find  pleasure  in  writing. 
This  species  of  mental  malady,  which  I  have  all  my 
life  time  been  subject  to,  except  I  had  a  constant 
occupation  of  business,  grows  daily  more  powerfully 
upon  me,  and  affects  even  my  bodily  powers ;  for  I 
have  not  the  same  pleasure  in  riding  as  I  used  to 
have." 

Riding  and  driving  had  always  been  his  favourite  out- 
door   recreations.      He   seems    never   to   have   felt    any 
inclination    towards    field  -  sports,    which    were    to    be  ' 
enjoyed  in  those   days  comfortably  near  Calcutta  —  we 

1  See  infra,  pp.  323,  364.  2  Gleig,  III.  336. 


10  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

read  of  four  tigers  killed  near  Chinsura  in  1784 1— though 
Mrs  Hastings  appears  to  have  made  experiments  with 
a  gun,  but  this  may  have  been  in  a  fit  of  martial  ardour.2 
In  his  younger  days  he  himself  had  served  with  Clive's 
force  destined  for  the  recovery  of  Calcutta,  and  in  1803 
his  old  friend  Sir  Francis  Sykes  recalls  the  time  "  when 
you  and  I  were  Volunteers,  wading  through  Nullas  of 
Water,  up  to  our  Breast."  The  occasion  of  this  remin- 
iscence was  the  ferment  induced  by  the  invasion  scare, 
when  the  country  gentlemen  were  doing  their  best  to 
infuse  military  enthusiasm  into  a  population  "cold,  sus- 
picious, and  very  unwilling  to  assemble  to  concert 
measures  of  defence."  "  We  have  proposed  to  the 
Inhabitants  of  our  Parish,"  writes  Baber,  "to  arm 
themselves  and  learn  their  exercise,  that  is  the  mear 
manual,  and  to  load  and  fire  without  blinking  or 
winking ;  "  and  Hastings  himself  says,3  "  I  called  out 
the  youth  of  Daylesford,  and  with  the  very  able  in- 
struction of  Colonel  Imhoff,  my  old  porter  called  from 
Chelsea  College  for  that  purpose,  and  myself  looking 
on,  taught  them  to  march,  and  to  carry  themselves 
erect  like  soldiers."  The  movement,  however,  was  sud- 
denly quashed  by  the  Government,  and  no  estimate  was 
even  made  of  the  number  of  volunteers  that  would  be 
available  in  the  event  of  an  invasion.  Until  a  few  years 
ago,  recollections  of  Hastings  lingered  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  his  home  as  "  a  small  man  sitting  huddled  on  his 
horse,  watching  the  volunteers  drill."  * 

In  English  politics  he  took  little  share.  Nicholls,5 
commenting  on  his  ability  as  a  statesman,  his  wealth 
of  information  and  his  dauntless  courage,  adds  that  his 
interests  were  wholly  Indian.  On  his  return  to  England 
he  knew  nothing  of  British  political  parties,  their  objects 

1  *  India  Gazette.'  '2  See  infra,  pp.  94,  100.  3  Gleig,  III.  387. 

4  W.    II.    Hutton,    'By  Thames  and   Cotswold.'      The  chapter   entitled 
"Two  Cotswold  Statesmen"  contains  a  fine  appreciation  of  Hastings. 
6  '  Recollections  and  Reflections.'    John  Nicholls,  M.P. 


GENERAL    INTRODUCTION.  II 

or  their  sympathies,  save  as  regarded  India,  and  he  had 
formed  no  opinion  on  questions  which  were  matters  of 
life  and  death  to  them.  Macaulay  finds  an  additional 
crime  in  his  one  plunge  into  the  political  arena  in  1804, 
but  it  is  necessary  to  know  the  feeling  of  the  time  to 
realise  how  deeply  discredited  and  distrusted  were  both 
the  great  parties  at  the  moment.  Pitt  was  considered 
absolutely  unscrupulous,  his  state  maxims  "That  the 
End  justifies  the  Means,  and  Convenience  sanctifies  the 
End,"1  and  Fox  was  signalising  himself  by  trying 
simultaneously  to  bless  and  curse  the  renewal  of  war 
with  France.  Patriotic  men  saw  in  a  Ministry  of 
Moderates  the  only  hope  of  the  country,  and  Hastings 
is  hardly  to  be  blamed  for  his  confidence  in  Addington, 
who  had  always  shown  him  kindness  and  courtesy,  in 
contrast  with  the  treachery  of  Pitt  and  the  savagery  of 
Fox.  A  little  later  he  is  found  watching  with  painful 
interest  the  careers  of  Nelson  and  Wellington,  whose 
treatment  by  the  Government  reminded  him  of  his 
own.  It  is  startling  now  to  read  that  in  1805  Nelson 
was  only  waiting  to  bring  his  fleet  into  a  British  port 
to  resign  his  command  as  a  protest  against  the  hard 
usage  he  received,  but  Hastings  felt  to  the  end  that 
he  had  not  been  properly  appreciated.  "  I  do  not 
rejoice  for  our  victory,"  he  writes  after  Trafalgar.  "  It 
brought  tears  into  my  eyes,  and  has  struck  a  chill 
upon  my  heart.  If  I  was  not  afraid  of  its  being  im- 
puted to  me  as  an  affectation,  I  would  put  myself  into 
mourning.  I  do  mourn  inwardly."  With  all  honest 
men,  he  shared  the  indignation  felt  at  the  attempt  to 
involve  Wellington  in  the  guilt  due  to  Sir  Hew  Dalrymple 
for  the  Convention  of  Cintra.  As  an  old  Indian,  he  had 
a  special  interest  in  the  man  whom  Baber  calls  "our 
little  Indian  hero  —  Sir  A.  Willesley,"  adding  the  oft- 
proved  truth,  "  Say  what  they  will  of  India,  it  is  the 

1  General  Palmer,  in  a  letter  to  Hastings,  in  which  he  considers   Lord 
Wellesley  as  Pitt's  pupil. 


12          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

best  School  the  Nation  can  boast  of,  both  for  Statesmen 
and  Generals." 

If  Hastings  was  little  of  a  politician,  however,  he  was 
a  keen  practical  philanthropist.  He  had  always  acknow- 
ledged an  obligation  of  gratitude  to  his  foster-mother, 
a  poor  woman  named  Ellis,  living  at  Churchill,  and 
her  family,  of  which  they  kept  him  well  in  mind,  and 
on  the  acquisition  of  Daylesford  he  became  an  earthly 
providence  to  every  man,  woman,  and  child  on  the  estate. 
In  the  severe  weather  at  the  beginning  of  1795,  he  gave 
orders  for  the  daily  distribution  of  bread,  to  the  value 
of  6d.  a-week  per  head  of  the  poor  inhabitants,  but  his 
later  endeavours  were  directed  rather  to  the  inculcation 
of  self-support.  Mrs  Hastings  taught  the  village  girls 
sewing  and  straw  -  plaiting,  and  he  chose  out  some  of 
the  boys  to  be  sent  to  Joseph  Lancaster's  school  for 
an  industrial  education.  But  the  mothers  were  seized 
with  the  idea  that  they  were  to  be  taken  for  soldiers 
or  sailors,  and  besieged  him  with  tears  to  beg  them  off, 
so  that  the  experiment  came  to  an  untimely  end.  There 
are  constant  allusions  to  getting  boys  into  other  schools, 
into  the  army  or  navy — and  too  often  to  buying  them 
out  of  the  former  again,  which  show  that  he  spared 
neither  money  nor  trouble  in  doing  the  duty  of  a  country 
gentleman  as  he  understood  it.  Money  was  very  scarce, 
in  those  days  of  enormous  war-taxes,  and  this  led  him 
into  expenditure  which  alarmed  Mrs  Hastings.  She 
took  over  the  management  of  his  farm  from  him  at 
length,  determined  to  show  that  she  could  handle  it 
to  greater  advantage.  We  read  that  she  was  sick  of 
her  task  in  six  months,  but  would  not  resign  it  to  him, 
owing  to  the  imposition  to  which  she  knew  he  would 
again  become  subject. 

Farming  and  gardening  were  pursuits  which  he  fol- 
lowed, both  in  India  and  in  England,  with  the  enthusiasm 
and  the  partial  success  that  is  usually  the  lot  of  the 
amateur.  As  soon  as  he  reaches  Calcutta  he  sets  to 


GENERAL   INTRODUCTION.  13 

work  to  acclimatise  English  plants,  directing  his  sister 
to  send  him  out  honeysuckle  and  sweetbriar  seeds  in 
small  bottles  with  ground  -  glass  stoppers,  packed  very 
dry  with  plenty  of  cotton  or  wool.  Mr  Woodman  also 
alludes  to  "  Troffles,  Morrelles  and  Artichoke  Bottomes  " 
as  having  been  despatched  to  him.  At  the  same  time 
he  was  forming  a  collection  of  rare  shrubs  from  other 
parts  of  Asia,  founding  an  experimental  farm  at  Suksagar 
for  the  cultivation  of  coffee,  sugar-cane,  and  other  useful 
plants,  and  procuring  cinnamon-seed  from  Ceylon,  the 
trees  springing  from  which  flourished  luxuriantly  in 
Bengal,  as  Turner  assures  him  after  his  departure.  In 
the  great  scarcity  caused  by  a  succession  of  bad  harvests 
at  the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth  century,  he  succeeded 
in  producing  a  hybrid  grain  which  he  called  barley-wheat, 
and  which  he  believed  to  combine  the  nutritive  qualities 
of  wheat  with  the  hardiness  of  barley. 

With  animals  he  was  less  successful.  The  shawl-goats 
he  sent  or  imported  to  England  nearly  all  died  on  the 
voyage,  the  same  fate  befell  most  of  the  Bhutan  cattle 
which  Turner  procured  for  him  with  great  difficulty  and 
expense,  and  his  attempt  to  establish  a  breed  of  Arabian 
horses  in  England  failed  apparently  from  the  want  of 
adequate  encouragement.  He  seems  to  have  resigned 
himself  at  last  to  keeping  only  the  ordinary  animals  of 
the  country-side,  making  pets  in  his  old  age  of  his 
Jersey  cows  as  he  had  formerly  done  of  his  beautiful 
Arabs.  Other  people  admire  them  for  their  beauty  and 
usefulness,  he  writes  to  Sir  Charles  Imhoff,  after  de- 
tailing how  they  run  to  him  when  they  hear  his  voice,. 
"  but  it  is  only  your  dear  mother  and  myself  who  are 
attached  to  their  cows  on  account  of  their  accomplish- 
ments and  moral  virtues." 

Overwhelmed  though  he  was  with  work  (he  writes  to 
Charles  D'Oyly  in  1811  that  it  had  always  been  his  habit 
to  go  through  all  the  details  of  each  department  of 
government  either  weekly  or  monthly,  when  the  officials 


14          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

in  charge  reported  to  him,  and  received  his  instructions), 
and  devoted  to  the  improvement  of  his  different  estates, 
he  found  time  for  literature  and  art.  He  was,  indeed, 
an  omnivorous  reader,  and  his  bookseller  had  a  standing 
order  to  forward  him  all  the  best  new  books,  in  the  selec- 
tion of  which  Lord  Mansfield  and  other  friends  would 
give  their  assistance.  About  the  same  time  (1771)  he  was 
desiring  his  sister  to  send  him  out  magazines  by  every 
ship,  to  forward  regularly  the  'Annual  Register,'  "  and  if 
Junius  continues  to  write,  his  letters."  In  his  later  years 
he  read  poetry  enormously.  He  corresponded  with  Scott, 
through  his  friend  David  Anderson,  on  the  occult  element 
in  the  "  Lay  of  the  Last  Minstrel,"  and  a  list  of  his  books 
at  Daylesford  shows  what  would  appear  to  modern  read- 
ers an  undue  appreciation  of  Southey.  Various  French 
romances  in  the  list  were  probably  the  property  of  Mrs 
Hastings,  though  he  appears  to  have  been  a  good  French 
scholar,  while  unable  to  understand  a  word  of  German.1 
His  enthusiasm  for  Fanny  Burney's  novels  is  well  known, 
and  the  Austen  papers  show  the  delight  with  which  a 
highly  eulogistic  letter  from  him  was  received  by  the 
author  of  '  Pride  and  Prejudice,'  the  daughter  of  his  old 
friends. 

I-  In  his  early  days,  a  certain  facility  in  verse-making  was 
one  of  the  marks  of  a  man  of  culture,  and  the  members 
of  his  circle  seem  to  have  "dropped  into  poetry"  with 
a  frequency  rather  astonishing  to  the  modern  mind.  It 
may  be  that  the  prevalence  of  the  heroic  couplet  had 
rendered  the  manufacture  of  verse  little  less  mechanical 
in  English  than  in  Latin,  and  if  a  boy  left  his  public 
school  without  learning  very  much  of  other  things,  he 
was  at  any  rate  well  drilled  in  making  Latin  verses. 
Another  favourite  exercise  was  the  "topical"  translation 
of  classical  originals,  in  which  Pope  was  the  exemplar, 
and  to  this  the  little  clique  of  literary  Anglo-Indians  who 
founded  the  Bengal  Asiatick  Society  added  the  translation 
of  native  poetry.  Hastings  was  regarded  as  an  authority 

1  See  Appendix  III.,  "Mrs  Hastings  and  her  German  Relations." 


GENERAL    INTRODUCTION.  15 

on  both  Latin  and  English  verse.  "The  works  of  your 
taste,"  writes  Henry  Austen1  to  him,  speaking  of  his 
own  school-days,  "  both  of  the  pencil  and  the  pen,  were 
continually  offer'd  to  my  notice  as  objects  of  imitation 
and  spurs  to  exertion.  I  shall  never  forget  the  delight 
which  I  experienced  when  on  producing  a  translation 
of  a  well  known  Ode  of  Horace  to  my  Father's  criticism, 
he  favor'd  me  with  a  perusal  of  your  MS.,  and  as  a 
high  mark  of  commendation  said  that  he  was  sure  Mr 
Hastings  would  have  been  pleased  with  the  perusal  of 
my  humbler  essay."  Stephen  Sulivan  and  Elijah  Impey 
the  younger  send  him  for  criticism  specimens  of  their 
poetical  efforts,  ranging  from  translations  of  Tasso  to 
Latin  epigrams  and  English  comic  verses,  and  his  own 
impromptus  were  eagerly  handed  about  and  preserved. 
What  he  thought  of  his  own  productions  is  seen  in  one 
of  the  letters  in  this  book,2  and  it  may  frankly  be  said 
that  they  are  less  interesting  as  poetry  than  as  setting 
the  fashion  of  more  or  less  free  translation  of  Oriental 
legends,  which  became  so  prevalent  in  the  early  part 
of  the  nineteenth  century.  While  on  this  subject,  it 
may  be  mentioned  that  though  attempts  have  been 
made  to  show  that  he  was  ignorant  of  the  Indian 
languages,  all  the  contemporary  accounts  agree  in  re- 
presenting him  as  a  master  of  Persian,  then  the  most 
important,  and  he  never  lost  an  opportunity  of  inquiring 
into  the  beliefs  and  antiquities  of  the  Hindus,  though 
this  may  have  been  done  by  interpretation.  His  friend 
Ironside  pictures  him  at  Benares  "  relaxing  and  un- 
bending in  Pundit  -  hunting."  Wilkins  sends  him  a 
minute  account  of  the  worship  of  a  Sikh  colony  at 
Patna,  and  he  gave  endless  trouble  to  the  task  of  dis- 
covering and  codifying,  with  the  aid  of  the  most  learned 
natives  he  could  attract  to  Calcutta,  both  Hindu  and 
Mohammedan  law. 

1  Brother  of  Jane  Austen.     He  married  Hastings'  god-daughter,  Elizabeth 
Comtesse  de  Feuillide,  nee  Hancock. 

2  See  infra,  p,  273. 


l6  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

For  mechanical  pursuits  he  had  considerable  taste.  In 
1770,  when  he  had  only  lately  arrived  at  Madras,  he  sends 
home  a  plan  for  a  pier  there,  on  the  model  of  that  at 
Margate,  which  is  to  obviate  the  danger  and  discomfort 
of  landing  through  the  surf,  and  asks  for  the  opinion  on  it 
of  Brindley,  Smeaton,  and  Mylne,  the  foremost  engineers 
of  the  day.  In  1784  he  was  making  experiments  with 
balloons,  as  was  every  one  in  England  and  France  at  the 
time,  and  numerous  descriptions  of  water-wheels  and 
other  Indian  machines  remain  in  his  handwriting. 

Of  his  artistic  works,  mentioned  above  by  Henry 
Austen,  none  are  extant,  at  least  in  the  public  collections, 
but  as  a  patron  of  art  he  was  generous  and  renowned. 
The  many  pictures  painted  for  him  by  William  Hodges, 
R.A.,  Zoffany,  A.  W.  Devis  and  other  artists,  are  evi- 
dence of  this,  and  so  are  the  letters  addressed  to  him 
by  amateurs  entreating  his  countenance.  Among  them 
there  is  one  from  an  unwise  youth  who  has  left  the 
army  to  follow  in  the  footsteps  of  Hodges,  whose  pupil 
he  was,  but  rinding  art  an  unpropitious  mistress,  wishes 
to  be  replaced  in  his  rank.  To  the  last,  Charles  D'Oyly 
and  others  send  their  works  to  Hastings  for  praise  or 
blame,  recognising  in  him,  perhaps,  a  survival  of  the 
elder  generation,  when  every  gentleman  was  also  some- 
thing of  an  art-critic. 

Of  a  piece  with  his  simple  mode  of  life  was  the  sim- 
plicity of  the  Governor  -  General's  dress,  contrasting 
vividly  with  the  state  he  maintained  in  his  public  appear- 
p.nces.  The  mounted  bodyguard,  the  eight  aides-de- 
camp, and  the  retinue  of  native  servants,  served  to  add 
to  the  astonishment  of  newcomers  on  finding  "  this  same 
Governor  Hastings,  whom  they  have  heard  so  much  of, 
a  plain-looking  man  like  any  of  us,  with  a  brown  coat." 
"  Unostentatious  and  sensible"  is  the  description  given  of 
his  dress  by  a  lady  visitor,1  and  its  plainness  is  mentioned 
again  and^  again  on  his  return  to  England.  The  gold- 

1  'Hartly  House.'    Dublin,  1789. 


GENERAL   INTRODUCTION.  17 

laced  coat,  which  was  as  much  a  mark  of  the  returned 
Anglo-Indian  as  the  Hindu  servant  behind  his  chair, 
he  abjured  except  on  occasions  of  ceremony.  On  first 
reaching  Calcutta,  he  requests  his  sister  to  send  him  out 
two  suits  of  clothes  a-year,  and  one  frock  coat,  "  merely 
for  fashion."  Later,  he  tells  her  that  the  coat  is  the 
genteelest  he  has  ever  worn,  but  there  is  no  means  of 
keeping  the  gold  lace  from  tarnishing.  However,  it  will 
do  by  candle-light.  After  his  marriage  we  read  of  no 
more  commissions  of  the  kind,  and  it  is  probable  that 
Mrs  Hastings  took  the  question  of  his  clothes,  as  well  as 
most  others,  into  her  own  capable  hands. 

Absurd  though  it  may  appear,  this  very  frugality  in 
personal  expenditure  aroused  against  Hastings  the  sus- 
picions of  those  who  watched  for  his  falling.  Here  was  a 
man  in  a  position  unparalleled  for  its  opportunities  of 
making  money  dishonestly,  his  one  extravagance  lavish 
gifts  to  his  wife  and  to  needy  relatives.  What  became  of 
all  the  money  that  he  must  have  made — that  his  opponents 
and  predecessors  would  have  made  in  his  place  ?  Of 
course  it  was  either  spent  or  hoarded  with  dishonest  in- 
tention !  The  non  sequitur  is  obvious,  but  hence  arose  the 
legend  of  gifts  to  Royalty  valued  at  fifty  thousand  pounds,1 
and  that  of  vast  sums  withdrawn  from  the  Funds  to 
enable  Mr  Hastings  to  flee  the  country  in  the  course  of 
his  Trial,  to  which  Burke  gave  currency.  The  simple 
fact  was,  that  Hastings'  disregard  of  money  inflicted  sore 
disappointment  on  many  deserving  people,  both  friends 
and  enemies.  "Your  situation  in  Bengal  cannot  fail  of 
supplying  in  a  very  short  time  your  Coffers  to  the  extent 
of  your  wishes,"  writes  Colonel  Egerton  in  1772,  and  Sir 
Francis  Sykes  estimates  that  in  three  years  he  ought  to 
be  able  to  retire  with  a  competent  fortune.2  Another 

1  See  infra,  p.  395. 

2  See  also  p.  197.     The  actual  facts  are  disclosed  in  Series  III.  of  the  ac- 
companying letters.     After  the  Trial,  Hastings  satisfied  the  Court  of  Directors 
that  his  fortune  had  never  amounted  to  more  than  .£75,000.     (Debates.) 

B 


l8  LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

friend  tells  him  to  his  face  that  though  he  has  not 
Avarice,  he  has  a  "blameable  Generosity,"  which  will 
swallow  up  his  fortune  as  fast  as  he  makes  it.  His 
correspondence  shows  that  Government  House  served 
alternately  as  a  hotel,  a  hospital,  and  an  orphan  asylum 
for  the  benefit  of  members  of  the  Services  and  their 
relatives,  and  it  provided  what  was  practically  a  "  free 
breakfast-table"  for  Europeans  in  Calcutta. 

If  Hastings  spent  little  upon  himself,  his  letters  leave 
us  in  no  doubt  that  he  was  surrounded  by  as  eager  a 
throng  of  harpies  as  ever  preyed  upon  any  public  man. 
The  majority  of  his  relatives  were  in  poor  circumstances, 
and  fully  appreciated  their  good  fortune  in  possessing,  as 
it  were,  a  private  gold-mine  in  him.  During  the  lifetime 
of  his  first  wife,  he  sends  a  large  gift  of  money  to  her 
mother  on  her  behalf,  and  after  her  death,  her  two 
daughters,  Catherine  and  Elizabeth  Buchanan,1  become 
his  greedy  and  shameless  pensioners,  reappearing  in  his 
later  years  as  Mrs  Johnstone  and  Mrs  Finley,  still  highly 
undeserving  dependants  on  his  bounty.  To  his  sister, 
Mrs  Woodman,  he  gives  a  thousand  pounds,  in  addition 
to  smaller  sums,  and  settles  an  annuity  of  £200  a-year  on 
his  unmarried  aunt  Mrs  Elizabeth  Hastings.2  In  1775, 
John  Walsh,  M.P.  for  Worcestershire,  who  had  himself 
been  in  India  in  Clive's  time,  sends  him  an  idyllic  account 
of  a  venerable  yeoman  whom  he  has  discovered  at  Twining 
while  canvassing  out-voters.  Struck  with  the  old  man's 
mild  and  benign  appearance,  he  enters  into  conversation 
with  him,  and  discovers  that  he  has  a  nephew  in  India, 
no  other  than  Hastings,  of  whose  high  position  he  is  quite 
ignorant.  He  receives  the  information  without  surprise, 
saying  that  his  nephew  must  be  good,  since  his  father  and 
mother  were — which  sheds  a  new  light  on  the  character 

1  See  Appendix  II.,  "  Hastings'  First  Marriage." 

2  Not  the  widow  of  his  uncle  Howard,  as  stated  in  the  biographies.     The 
Christian  name  of  Mrs  Howard  Hastings  was  Jane,  and  she  appears  by  her 
husband's  will  to  have  been  an  heiress.     See  Appendix  I. 


GENERAL   INTRODUCTION.  ig 

of  the  unlucky  Penyston  Hastings.  With  stately  calm, 
the  venerable  Mr  Warren  adds  that  his  little  estate,  his 
sister  Hester's  patrimony,  will  in  time  belong  to  her  son  if 
he  deserves  it.  He  himself  has  laid  it  out  and  irrigated  it 
with  his  own  hands,  and  it  is  one  of  the  sights  of  the 
locality.  He  throws  it  open  for  his  neighbours  to  walk 
in,  and  entertains  them  with  cider,  and  in  their  delight 
they  entreat  him  to  take  out  a  licence,  and  open  what 
would  correspond  presumably  to  the  modern  tea-garden. 
But  though  poor,  he  has  his  pride.  He  is  an  authority 
on  roads,  and  esteemed  by  my  Lord  Coventry,  and  he  re- 
jects the  friendly  advice,  even  as  he  will  not  cut  his  valu- 
able oaks.  Pleased,  no  doubt,  to  possess  a  relative  needing 
and  asking  nothing,  Hastings  sends  him  a  present  of  four 
Indian  shawls,  which  are  crossed  on  the  way  by  several 
letters,  wonderful  in  calligraphy  and  eccentric  in  spelling, 
from  the  newly  discovered  uncle  to  his  "  nevieu."  Mr 
Warren  rejoices  to  hear  that  "  God  Allmighty  have  in- 
dued you  with  Sence,  Honnour,  and  Riches,"  and  won- 
dering that  he  saw  nothing  of  him  when  he  was  in 
England,  hopes  he  has  no  dislike  to  the  family.  After 
the  arrival  of  the  shawls  he  suggests  that  if  Hastings  has 
anything  to  spare  out  of  his  good  fortune  to  add  to  the 
comfort  of  an  old  uncle  it  would  be  gratefully  received, 
and  mentions  that  his  sister,  Mrs  Turner,  would  also  be 
glad  of  assistance.  Very  shortly,  Hastings  is  paying  a 
hundred  guineas  a-year  for  Mr  Warren,  and  the  interest 
on  her  mortgages  for  Mrs  Turner,  and  sending  five  hun- 
dred pounds  in  haste  for  the  relief  of  Mrs  Hammond,  the 
unacknowledged  daughter  of  another  uncle,1  who  is  in 
dire  distress.  Mrs  Hammond  also  becomes  an  annuitant, 
and  with  her  children,  pursues  him  even  in  his  old  age 
with  requests  for  further  help — in  1795  she  begs  for  an 
interview  of  one  hour  only,  undertaking  in  that  time  to 

1  No  more  direct  clue  is  given  to  the  relationship,  but  as  the  Christian  name 
of  Mrs  Hammond's  daughter  was  Ann  Hastings,  it  is  possible  that  Howard 
Hastings  was  the  uncle  referred  to. 


20  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

give  him  "  a  clear  statement  of  all  my  proceedings  since 
my  earliest  knowledge  of  myself,  my  behaviour  and 
struggles  through  life "  —  while  Mr  Warren  melts  the 
warm  Irish  heart  of  Hastings'  aide-de-camp,  Captain 
Toone,  who  visits  him  when  at  home  for  his  health,  by 
the  picture  he  presents  of  reverend  old  age  insufficiently 
assisted. 

Moreover,  the  family  combined  to  thrust  off  on  its  most 
famous  member  those  younger  branches  for  whom  it  was 
not  convenient  to  provide  at  home.  William  Gardiner, 
another  relative,1  comes  out  to  India  "  a  Guiney  Pig  " — 
which  appears  to  mean  that  he  worked  his  passage — and 
arrives  in  Calcutta  "  in  debt  and  with  one  suit  of  cloaths." 
He  does  well  in  the  army,  but  is  killed  in  the  storming  of 
Lahar,  having  taken  the  precaution  to  make  a  will  leaving 
to  his  cousin  his  debts  and  his  native  wife  and  two  child- 
ren. His  confidence  was  not  misplaced.  Hastings  paid 
the  debts  and  provided  for  the  family,  sending  the  boy  to 
England  to  be  educated.  In  a  letter  to  the  Woodmans  he 
commends  "little  Billy  Gardiner,  who  was  left  to  me  as 
a  legacy,"  to  their  care,  directing  that  he  shall  be  boarded 
and  taught  until  he  is  fit  to  go  to  Westminster,  and  pro- 
mising him  a  cadetship  when  old  enough.  A  more  satis- 
factory relative  was  Samuel  Turner,  whom  Mr  Warren 
recommends  to  Hastings'  consideration  as  having  received 
"  a  cadet's  appointment  for  the  Indias,"  and  as  being 
"  sober,  honnest,  and  indued  with  naturall  good  qual- 
lities."  He  became  his  kinsman's  aide-de-camp,  carried 
through  with  great  prudence  and  success  a  historic 
mission  to  Tibet,  and  as  commander  of  the  bodyguard, 
continued  faithfully  to  watch  over  Hastings'  interests  in 
India  after  his  departure. 

One  curious  exception  is  found  to  the  family  hunger 
for  Indian  appointments.  In  1769,  Hastings'  friend 

1  He  may  have  been  the  son  or  grandson  of  Harry  Gardner,  the  wicked 
uncle  with  whom  Penyston  Hastings  conspired  to  alienate  his  children's 
money.  See  App.  I.,  esp.  Table  A,  Note  4,  and  Table  B,  Note  I. 


GENERAL   INTRODUCTION.  21 

Waller  mentions  that  he  called  in  at  Cleveland  Row 
(the  Woodmans'  abode),  "and  found  all  well,  Tommy 
like  a  good  boy  at  his  books.  He'll  set  off  for  India  in 
a  few  years  if — Mamma  can  let  him."  Five  years  later, 
Hastings  advised  his  sister  and  her  husband  to  secure  an 
appointment  for  Tommy  and  send  him  out,  promising  to 
care  for  him  as  a  son,  but  the  canny  parents  declined  the 
offer.  His  star  was  not  in  the  ascendant  at  the  moment, 
and  they  considered  the  "affairs  of  India  too  uncertain 
to  embark  Tommy  in  them."  With  great  prudence,  they 
kept  the  boy  in  ignorance  of  the  offer  and  its  rejection, 
and  he  went  to  Westminster  and  then  to  Cambridge, 
whence  frequent  reports  of  his  progress  are  sent  to  his 
uncle.1 

Extensive  and  loud-voiced  as  was  his  own  family, 
Hastings'  suppliants  were  naturally  not  confined  to  its 
ranks,  nor  was  their  aim  invariably  money,  happily  for 
his  pocket.  "  I  never  knew  you  keep  even  half  a  Crown 
if  a  poor  Man  wanted  it,"  says  Baber,  and  few  indeed  are 
the  begging  letters  contained  in  the  Correspondence 
which  are  not  quickly  followed  by  others  expressing 
rapturous  gratitude  for  the  help  received,  and — such  is 
human  nature  —  generally  asking  for  more.  But  his 
imagined  influence  attracted  a  greedy  crowd  of  suitors, 
and  his  character  for  kindness  and  sympathy  a  very 
pathetic  one.  Unsuccessful  lovers  wrote  to  ask  his 
assistance  in  winning  the  object  of  their  affections,  and 
couples  unhappily  married  demanded  his  advice  and 
support,  each  against  the  other.  People  wrote  to  ask 
him  to  trace  lost  daughters  and  vanished  brothers,  to 
compel  the  payment  of  money  unjustly  detained,  to  help 
them  to  realise  the  estate  of  a  deceased  husband,  to 
restore  a  daughter's  fortune  which  had  been  entrusted 
to  a  bankrupt  friend.  They  sought  his  patronage  for  all 
sorts  and  conditions  of  men,  the  youth  who  had  wasted 
his  money  at  play,  the  elderly  merchant  who  had  lost  his 

1  See  Appendix  III. 


22  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

in  speculation,  the  surgeon  who  had  fallen  into  bad  com- 
pany, the  spendthrift  husband  of  a  celebrated  authoress, 
the  officer  who  had  served  through  the  American  War, 
and,  his  constitution  ruined,  had  sold  his  commission  to 
pay  his  doctor's  bill.  These  gentlemen  might  have 
already  obtained  entrance  into  the  Company's  military 
or  civil  service,  in  which  case  they  desired  speedy 
promotion,  a  fat  appointment,  or  a  post  in  the  "  Owd  " 
Contingent,  or  they  were  going  out  to  seek  their  fortune, 
and  asked  merely  for  such  a  situation  as  their  talents 
merited  —  a  request  which  involved  their  maintenance 
until  it  was  attained.  It  was  expedient  to  gratify  them, 
because  they  were  recommended  by  old  schoolfellows,  old 
friends,  members  of  the  Court  of  Directors  who  had 
much  in  their  power,  country  gentlemen  who  had  come 
all  the  way  to  London  at  crucial  moments  to  vote  in 
Hastings'  favour,  or  declared  enemies  who  were  anxious 
to  enable  the  Governor-General  to  show  that  he  bore  no 
malice.  They  were  the  sons  of  worthy  country  clergy- 
men, of  near  neighbours  of  those  who  recommended 
them,  or  relations  of  persons  high  in  church  and  state 
— such  as  Lady  Cooper  (Cowper?)  "an  amiable  lady,  the 
mother  of  a  sweet  young  family,  and  yet  has  great  affec- 
tion to  spare  for  her  kinsman  " — and  they  were  one  and 
all  persons  of  parts  and  intelligence,  and  of  an  agree- 
able disposition.  When,  in  spite  of  all  these  claims  to 
favour,  they  were  left  in  obscurity,  their  patrons  at  home 
wrote  scathing  letters,  as  does  Mrs  Mary  Harwell,  com- 
plaining of  the  "severe  mortification  I  feel  in  your  total 
disregard  of  every  request  of  mine,"  aspersing  those 
"  worthless  and  contemptible  characters,"  the  gentlemen 
who  had  received  the  coveted  offices,  and  hinting  darkly 
at  a  withdrawal  of  her  support  in  future.  Even  more 
delicate  was  the  situation  when  the  person  recommended 
was  a  young  lady  on  the  look-out  for  a  husband.  It  was 
evidently  the  opinion  that  the  Governor-General,  like  an 
Ambassador,  was  qualified  as  a  chaperon  despite  his  sex, 


GENERAL    INTRODUCTION.  23 

for  he  was  honoured  with  charges  of  this  kind  while  he 
was  still  a  widower. 

As  the  head  of  all  the  state  departments — which  were 
not  then  allocated  to  different  members  of  Council l — 
the  unhappy  mortal  in  whom  was  nominally  vested  the 
government  of  British  India  found  himself  expected  to 
take  cognizance  of  the  smallest  matters  affecting  his 
European  subordinates.  Every  officer  and  civil  servant 
who  has  a  grievance  lays  it  before  the  Governor-General, 
whether  in  frequent  huge  epistles,  like  Colonel  Pearse,  or 
in  a  single  brief  entreaty,  like  the  old  sergeant  who  longs 
for  a  commission  after  his  many  years  of  service.  If  a 
captain  is  detained  in  garrison  with  the  smaller  half  of 
his  battalion  instead  of  being  allowed  to  take  the  field 
with  the  larger,  if  a  civilian  conceives  his  punctilio 
infringed  by  a  soldier  or  a  soldier  by  a  civilian,  if  a 
colonel  feels  himself  insulted  by  the  promotion  of  a  junior 
to  his  own  rank  as  a  reward  for  distinguished  services, 
the  remedy  is  clear,  write  to  the  Governor-General.  A 
cantonment  has  no  postman  of  its  own,  and  in  con- 
sequence receives  its  letters  irregularly,  a  subaltern  is 
guilty  of  violent  and  unbecoming  conduct  when  rebuked 
by  his  superior  officer — the  same  person  is  appealed  to  in 
each  case.  Any  one  who  is  superseded  in  office,  or  fancies 
himself  supplanted  in  the  Governor-General's  friendship, 
any  one  who  wants  a  change,  promotion,  a  little  ready 
money,  writes  to  Mr  Hastings,  and  wonderful  to  relate, 
nearly  always  obtains  his  request.  As  in  Turkey  at  the 
present  day,  for  the  ruling  caste  an  appeal  lay  to  the 
supreme  power  from  every  move  of  lesser  men. 

These  requests  for  justice  and  help  do  not  cease  when 
Hastings  leaves  India.  His  friends  Thompson  and 
Turner,  and  afterwards  Chapman  and  John  Palmer, 

1  A  beginning  was  made  when  General  Clavering  was  appointed  Com- 
mander-in-Chief,  but  it  was  one  of  the  charges  against  Hastings  that  he  bribed 
Clavering's  successor,  Sir  Eyre  Coote,  by  placing  the  military  department 
wholly  in  his  hands. 


24          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

had  charge  of  what  they  called  his  pension-fund,  out 
of  which  small  allowances  were  paid  to  old  servants  and 
poor  Europeans  whom  he  had  been  accustomed  to  be- 
friend, and  the  pensioners  were  always  ready  to  entreat 
an  increase.  The  reductions  carried  out  in  the  pay  of 
the  services,  and  other  economies  effected  by  his  suc- 
cessors, caused  a  great  deal  of  distress  among  all  but  the 
very  highly  placed,  and  some  of  the  appeals  from  old 
friends,  or  from  their  destitute  relatives,  are  heart-rend- 
ing. After  his  acquittal  the  stream  of  applications  for 
cadetships  and  writerships  resumes  its  course,  though  he 
had  no  nominations  of  his  own,  and  could  only  obtain 
them  by  the  exercise  of  his  influence  at  the  India  House, 
which  he  was  very  reluctant  to  put  to  the  test.  It  was 
equally  difficult  for  him  to  supply  the  recommendations 
for  which  he  was  so  often  asked.  Twenty  years  after  his 
departure,  so  General  Palmer  writes,  there  was  scarcely 
any  one  left  in  Bengal  who  had  known  him,  and  of  the 
few  who  had  done  so,  most  were  in  need  of  assistance 
themselves.  The  universal  confidence  in  his  willingness 
to  help  is  shown  by  a  curious  instance.  Readers  of  Dr 
Busteed's  '  Echoes  from  Old  Calcutta '  will  remember 
Mr  James  Augustus  Hicky  or  Hickey,  the  founder  of  the 
first  Indian  newspaper.  This  man  had  taken  up  an  atti- 
tude of  strong  opposition  in  the  days  of  his  journalistic 
activity,  and  after  due  warning,  his  persistent  libels  were 
rewarded  by  a  term  of  imprisonment  and  the  stoppage  of 
his  paper.  Dr  Busteed  gives  his  pathetic  letters  to  the 
Judges  entreating  release  for  the  sake  of  his  "  little  inno- 
cent children,"  and  mentions  that  Hastings  forgave  him 
the  fines  imposed  for  the  libels  directed  against  him  per- 
sonally, but  says  that  he  has  been  unable  to  discover  his 
eventual  fate.  Two  letters  in  the  Correspondence,  dated 
1793  and  1800  respectively,  show  him  still  at  Calcutta, 
very  old,  his  family  still  too  young  to  work,  and  with  no 
prospect  but  that  of  begging  their  bread  in  the  streets. 
With  an  ingenuous  recollection  of  Hastings'  past  kind- 


GENERAL   INTRODUCTION.  25 

ness  rather  than  his  own  misconduct,  he  invites  him  "to 
do  something  for  me  and  my  family,"  preferably  by  get- 
ting him  the  post  of  deputy  to  the  Clerk  of  the  Calcutta 
Market,  who  is  old  and  rich,  and  never  goes  near  the 
scene  of  his  ostensible  labours.  This  office,  with  a  small 
money  allowance,  and  the  prospect  of  succeeding  to  the 
clerkship  on  the  death  of  the  holder,  would  enable  him  to 
support  his  family.  Otherwise  he  can  only  try  to  get  a 
post  as  surgeon  on  board  an  Indiaman,  which  will  give 
all  his  children  a  free  passage  home.  This  seems  to  be  in 
the  nature  of  a  threat,  but  there  is  unfortunately  nothing 
to  show  how  the  appeal  was  answered. 

Among  so  many  applicants,  some  were  sure  to  be 
undeserving,  and  it  is  a  curious  feature  in  Hastings' 
character,  that  though  a  capable  leader  of  men,  he  had 
little  insight  into  the  minds  of  others.  Francis  was 
renowned  for  considering  every  possible  step  of  an 
opponent  before  he  would  make  any  move  himself,  and 
he  has  left  it  on  record  that  Hastings  was  entirely 
destitute  of  this  kind  of  prevision,  though  extraordin- 
arily skilful  in  extricating  himself  from  the  difficulties 
into  which  he  fell.  Akin  to  this  was  his  "haphazard- 
ness" — to  coin  a  word — in  his  choice  of  subordinates. 
To  him  the  man  who  presented  himself  with  assurances 
of  loyalty  was  loyal,  the  man  who  had  discharged 
routine  duties  with  zeal  and  fidelity  was  capable  of  deal- 
ing masterfully  with  great  issues.  In  some  cases  his 
confidence  was  justified.  Alexander  Elliot,  dying  in 
the  swamps  near  Cuttack,  "  thinking  of  nothing  but 
the  public  business  in  his  delirium,"  and  in  his  last 
letter  entreating  Hastings  to  supersede  him,  lest  his 
plans  should  suffer  by  delay — Goddard,  "  holding  most 
dear  the  fame  and  character  of  the  man  which  is  so 
much  connected  with  the  event  of  my  operations,"  were 
servants  of  whom  any  ruler  might  be  proud,  and  the 
years  of  the  Trial  only  brought  into  higher  relief  the 
courage  and  capacity  of  a  faithful  band  of  friends.  But 


26  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

the  selection  of  Markham  as  Resident  at  Benares,1  and  of 
Scott  as  parliamentary  agent,2  were  unfortunate  in  the 
extreme,  and  through  most  of  Hastings'  letters  from  India 
to  his  more  intimate  supporters  at  home  runs  the  current 
of  disappointment.  One  man  has  failed  him,  another 
betrayed  him,  a  third  on  whom  he  has  heaped  kindnesses 
repays  him  with  ingratitude.  Sir  Elijah  Impey  has  for- 
gotten their  old  friendship  in  a  mad  determination  to 
secure  the  advantage  of  his  order,  Francis  accepts  the 
most  liberal  concessions  and  calmly  disregards  the  con- 
ditions by  which  they  were  accompanied.  Yet  he  goes 
on,  with  pathetic  hopefulness,  to  try  new  men,  or  new  ex- 
pedients for  winning  the  same  men.  This  hopefulness 
appears  as  the  salient  point  of  his  character,  coupled 
with  an  extreme  tenderness  for  the  feelings  of  others. 
The  order  for  the  recall  of  the  incapable  and  disobedient 
Colonel  Leslie  cost  him  days  of  misery,  and  it  was  one  of 
the  grievances  of  his  friends  against  him  that  he  was  un- 
necessarily diffident  of  his  own  judgment,  that  his  disposi- 
tion was  too  easy,  and  that  he  was  led  when  he  ought  to 
have  taken  the  lead.  To  the  fascination  of  his  manners 
we  have  Fanny  Burney's  testimony : — 

"  I  am  quite  charmed  with  Mr  Hastings,  and  indeed, 
from  all  that  I  can  gather,  and  all  I  can  observe,  both 
which  are  but  little,  he  appears  to  me  to  be  one  of  the 
greatest  men  now  living,  as  a  public  character,  while  as  a 
private  one,  his  gentleness,  candour,  soft  manners,  and 
openness  of  disposition,  make  him  one  of  the  most 
pleasing.  .  .  .  He  spoke  with  the  utmost  frankness  of 
his  situation  and  affairs,  and  with  a  noble  confidence  in 
his  certainty  of  victory  over  his  enemies,  from  his  con- 
sciousness of  integrity  and  honour,  that  filled  me  with 
admiration  and  esteem  for  him."3 

But  an  even  greater  tribute  is  to  be  found  in  the  fact 
that  Francis,  whose  journal  bears  witness  to  the  impish 

1  See  infra,  p.  118.  2  See  infra,  p.  412. 

3  '  Diary  and  Letters  of  Mme.  d'Arblay.' 


GENERAL    INTRODUCTION.  27 

malignity  with  which  he  seized  every  opportunity  of 
wounding  the  feelings  —  as  apart  from  thwarting  the 
policy — of  the  Governor -General,  is  sometimes  seized 
with  pity  for  him.  When  he  writes  "  Poor  Hastings !  " 
he  is  as  near  affection  as  a  man  of  his  temperament  could 
be  in  the  case  of  a  political  opponent.  There  is  no 
resemblance  in  the  impression  produced  on  the  mind 
by  the  general  testimony  to  Macaulay's  vision  of  a  grim 
dictator  riding  roughshod  over  employers  and  colleagues 
alike,  but  merely  the  picture  of  a  very  human,  sorely 
harassed  man,  prepared  with  great  schemes  of  reform  in 
one  direction,  of  advance  in  another,  and  thwarted  in  all 
of  them.  With  extreme  patience,  but  not  uncomplaining, 
he  keeps  on  his  way,  always  on  the  watch  for  an  oppor- 
tunity of  burrowing  under  the  obstacles  he  is  forbidden  to 
surmount,  ready  to  take  the  long  road  round  when  the 
shortest  is  closed  to  him,  and  seizing  every  advantage 
that  events  or  the  rashness  of  his  enemies  may  offer  him. 
This,  then,  was  the  man  whose  letters  follow :  what  of 
the  woman  to  whom  they  were  written  ?  The  present 
writer  has  dealt  so  lately  with  the  origin  of  Mrs  Hastings, 
and  the  events  preceding  her  second  marriage,1  that  it 
is  now  necessary  merely  to  consider  what  manner  of 
woman  she  was  who  ruled  supreme  in  her  husband's 
heart  for  forty -eight  years.  "Your  good  and  amiable 
mother  .  .  .  continues  even  in  beauty  to  exceed  every 
woman  that  comes  within  my  observation,"  writes 
Hastings  to  Charles  Imhoff  in  1803,  and  in  1811,  at  the 
Prince  Regent's  "festival"  or  fete,  "The  dress  of  your 
mother  surpassed,  in  elegance  and  simplicity,  all  that 
came  within  my  observation,  and  she  was  handsomer 
than  many  that  were  born  thirty  years  ago,  and  have 
pretensions  to  beauty."  "When  I  attempt  to  talk  of 
the  Authority  of  a  Husband,"  says  Toone,  "  I  am  put  to 
Silence  by  the  Sacred  Name  of  Mr  Hastings — '  He  always 

1  See  '  The  Great  Proconsul,'  chapter  xxii.,  and  Appendix  II.,  "Mrs  Hastings, 
her  History." 


28          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

yields  in  all  Things  to  Mrs  Hastings,'  and  much  astonish- 
ment is  expressed,  that  I  should  so  long  have  enjoyed  the 
Benefits  of  your  Protection  and  Example,  and  profited 
so  little."  To  her  husband's  men  friends  this  devotion 
seems  to  have  appeared  quite  natural.  Thompson 
writes  with  enthusiasm  of  "the  Manners  of  my  dear 
Mrs  Hastings,  which,  upon  my  Honor,  I  have  always 
admired  as  peculiarly  dignified,  sweet  and  graceful," 
and  Scott  says,  "  Well  indeed,  my  dear  Sir,  does  she 
describe  the  Character  which  old  Lord  Lyttleton  has 
left  us,  of  his  Lucinda, 

"'Polite  as  tho'  in  Courts  she  had  ever  been, 
And  good  as  tho'  a  Court  she  had  never  seen.'" 

It  is  when  we  come  to  feminine  estimates  that  we 
detect  a  jarring  note,  which  shows  us  that  Mrs  Hastings 
was  what  is  popularly  known  as  "  a  man's  woman." 
Definitions  of  the  species  have  so  often  been  unsuccess- 
fully attempted,  that  on  this  occasion  it  may  perhaps 
suffice  to  remark  that  a  "woman's  woman"  leads,  a 
"man's  woman"  seems  to  follow.  It  is  by  no  means  a 
consequence  that  she  gets  less  of  her  own  way  than 
the  "woman's  woman" — rather  the  reverse,  indeed,  but 
she  pursues  her  object  by  a  different  method.  Her  hus- 
band believes  that  his  will  is  supreme,  that  he  is  the 
active  and  she  the  passive  partner  in  the  business  of 
their  lives — and  she  leaves  him  to  think  so.  It  is  her 
crowning  triumph,  and  her  sisters  regard  it  as  her  crown- 
ing treachery.  Any  number  of  weaknesses  will  be  con- 
doned, by  men,  in  a  woman  of  this  stamp — provided  that 
they  are  what  the  masculine  mind  chooses  to  consider 
feminine  weaknesses.  Extravagance  in  dress,  an  inor- 
dinate love  of  display,  a  desire  to  manage  the  affairs 
of  her  neighbours,  a  tendency  to  criticize  other  women 
whose  activities  are  not  confined  to  the  strictly  domestic 
sphere,  and  an  extreme  helplessness,  are  faults  so  venial 
as  to  be  almost  virtues,  wholly  attractions.  Nothing  is 


GENERAL    INTRODUCTION.  2Q 

more  astonishing  in  the  letters  contained  in  this  book 
than  the  honest  surprise  of  Hastings  at  the  courage  and 
capacity  shown  by  his  wife  on  more  than  one  occasion. 
They  had  been  married  several  years,  he  was  in  the  habit, 
so  Wraxall1  tells  us,  of  consulting  her  on  public  affairs, 
he  knew  that  she  managed  her  own  money  matters  with 
conspicuous  success,  and  would  have  liked  to  manage 
his,  but  the  fiction  of  her  timidity  and  helplessness 
apart  from  him  retains  possession  of  his  mind. 

Two  or  three  glimpses  of  Mrs  Hastings,  some  obtained 
in  India  and  one  in  England,  will  show  the  impression 
she  produced  on  other  women.  The  first  witness  is  Mrs 
Fay,  a  young  lady  married  to  a  worthless  husband,  whom 
she  had  accompanied  to  Bengal  in  the  hope  of  keeping 
him  out  of  mischief.  Travelling  by  the  then  little  known 
overland  route,  they  fell  into  the  hands  of  Haidar  Ali 
during  their  voyage  from  Suez  to  Calcutta,  and  were  only 
rescued  after  much  suffering  and  privation.  Arrived  at 
Calcutta,  one  of  Mrs  Fay's  first  duties  was  to  go  out  to 
Belvidere  and  pay  her  respects  to  the  Governor-General's 
lady. 

"  Mrs  H herself,"  she  writes,  "  it  is  easy  to  perceive 

at  the  first  glance,  is  far  superior  to  the  generality  of  her 
sex ;  though  her  appearance  is  rather  eccentric,  owing  to 
the  circumstance  of  her  beautiful  auburn  hair  being  dis- 
posed in  ringlets,  throwing  an  air  of  elegant,  nay  almost 
infantine  simplicity  over  her  countenance,  most  admirably 
adapted  to  heighten  the  effect  intended  to  be  produced. 
Her  whole  dress  too,  though  studiously  becoming  being 
at  variance  with  our  present  modes  which  are  certainly 
not  so  "  (the  lady's  punctuation  is  breathlessly  erratic,) 
"  perhaps  for  that  reason,  she  has  chosen  to  depart  from 
them — as  a  foreigner  you  know,  she  may  be  excused  for 
not  strictly  conforming  to  our  fashions ;  besides  her  rank 
in  the  settlement  sets  her  above  the  necessity  of  studying 
anything  but  the  whim  of  the  moment.  It  is  easy  to  per- 

1  '  Historical  Memoirs.'     Sir  N.  W.  Wraxall. 


30  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

ceive  how  fully  sensible  she  is  of  her  own  consequence. 
She  is  indeed  raised  to  a  '  giddy  height '  and  expects  to  be 
treated  with  the  most  profound  respect  and  deference. 
She  received  me  civilly  and  insisted  on  my  staying  dinner, 
which  I  had  no  inclination  to  refuse,  but  seemed  not  to 
evince  much  sympathy  when  I  slightly  touched  on  the 
misfortunes  which  had  befallen  me ;  nay  she  even  hinted 
that  I  had  brought  them  on  myself,  by  imprudently  ven- 
turing on  such  an  expedition  out  of  mere  curiosity.  .  .  . 
I  could  not  help  feeling  vexed  at  Mrs  H 's  observa- 
tion, to  say  the  best  of  it,  it  was  unfeeling, — but  I  excuse 
her."  Despite  this  magnanimity,  there  is  a  distinct  touch 
of  resentment  in  the  remark  that  follows:  "The  house 
.  .  .  is  a  perfect  bijou;  most  superbly  fitted  up  with  all 
that  unbounded  affluence  can  display ;  but  still  deficient 
in  that  simple  elegance  which  the  wealthy  so  seldom 
obtain."  Here  again  appears  the  difference  between  the 
masculine  and  the  feminine  point  of  view,  for  Thomp- 
son writes  of  Mrs  Hastings  as  "a  wife  whose  singular 
generosity  and  splendid  taste  were  guided  by  an  enlight- 
ened system  of  economy,  and  by  the  utmost  anxiety  for 
the  welfare  of  her  husband."  With  regard  to  the  "  infan- 
tine "  style  of  her  dress,  it  would  appear  that  owing  to  her 
Continental  connections,  her  fashions  were  two  or  three 
years  in  advance  of  those  of  the  British-born  ladies  sur- 
rounding her,  for  in  1783  a  friend  writes  to  her  from 
England :  "  To  describe  the  various  Dresses  of  the 
Ladies,  I  must  leave  to  an  abler  Pen  than  mine ;  it 
seems  they  breathe  nothing  but  fashion  and  Elegance, 
and  are  grown  so  Young,  as  not  only  to  appear  in  their 
Sashes,  but  their  Shifts  (a  Dress  called  Chemise  a  la 
Reine)."  But  her  style  of  hairdressing  was  entirely  her 
own,  and  she  clung  to  it  on  her  return  to  England — 
even,  according  to  the  'Rolliad,'1  when  she  went  to  Court, 
which  was  almost  equivalent  to  appearing  without  plumes 
or  lappets  nowadays.  "  Her  figure  furnished  matter  for 

1  See  infra,  p.  397. 


GENERAL    INTRODUCTION.  3! 

malevolent  criticism,"  says  Wraxall,  "as,  at  a  time  when 
every  fashionable  female's  head-dress  was  elevated  twelve 
or  eighteen  inches  high,  and  formed  a  barbarous  assem- 
blage of  powder,  pins,  and  other  fantastic  ornaments 
piled  on  each  other,  she  had  the  courage  to  wear  her 
hair  without  powder."  Her  taste  in  this  respect  seems 
to  have  been  shared  by  her  husband,  for  in  Reynolds' 
portrait  of  him  as  a  young  man  he  wears  his  own  brown 
hair  without  powder. 

Mrs  Fay  has  something  further  to  say  on  the  subject  of 
the  deference  required  by  Mrs  Hastings  from  all  that 
approached  her.  One  evening  at  the  Harmonic,  "  Mrs 
H—  -  was  of  the  party ;  she  came  in  late,  and  happened 
to  place  herself  on  the  other  side  of  the  room,  beyond  a 
speaking  distance,  so  strange  to  tell,  I  quite  forgot  she 
was  there ! "  (Was  this  forgetfulness  wholly  involun- 
tary?) "  After  some  time  had  elapsed,  my  observant 

friend  Mrs  J l  who  had  been  impatiently  watching 

my  looks,  asked  if  I  had  paid  my  respects  to  the  Lady 
Governess  ? 2  I  answered  in  the  negative,  having  had 
no  opportunity,  as  she  had  not  chanced  to  look  towards 
me  when  I  was  prepared  to  do  so.  '  Oh,'  replied  the 
kind  old  lady,  '  you  must  fix  your  eyes  on  her,  and  never 

take  them  off  'till  she  notices  you  ;  Miss  C y  (Chantry) 

has  done  this,  and  so  have  I ;  it  is  absolutely  necessary 
to  avoid  giving  offence.'  I  followed  her  prudent  advice, 
and  was  soon  honoured  with  a  complacent  glance,  which 
I  returned  as  became  me  by  a  most  respectful  bend.  Not 
long  after  she  walked  over  to  our  side,  and  conversed 
very  affably  with  me." 

This  was  three  years  after  Mrs  Hastings'  marriage,  and 
it  speaks  much  for  her  strength  of  character  that  she  had 
in  that  time  brought  the  Calcutta  ladies  into  such  subjec- 

1  Jackson.     See  infra,  p.  54. 

2  The  curious  title  here  given  to  Mrs  Hastings,  and  also  found  elsewhere, 
seems  due  to  a  reminiscence  of  Margaret  of  Parma,  Regent  of  the  Nether- 
lands.    She  was  also  called  Madam  Hastings,  "the  Hon'ble  Mrs  Hastings," 
and,  especially  by  foreigners,  "Lady  Hastings." 


32  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

tion — a  willing  subjection,  moreover.  Lady  Impey,  whose 
spasmodic  attempts  at  rebellion  were  so  carefully  fostered 
and  so  maliciously  described  by  Francis,  became  her 
friend  for  life,  and  most  new-comers  appear  to  have 
taken  their  cue  from  the  society  around  them.  Some- 
times there  were  difficulties.  Stephen  Sulivan  and  his 
wife  complain  bitterly  of  unkindness  and  affronts  offered 
to  the  lady  by  Mrs  Hastings,  which  bring  forth  a  counter- 
accusation  of  a  want  of  attention  to  her  on  their  part. 
Even  the  son  of  the  Chairman  of  the  Court  of  Directors 
must  learn  his  place. 

"The  Governor's  .  .  .  lady  is  the  great  ornament  of 
places  of  polite  resort,"  writes  the  author  of  '  Hartly 
House ' ;  "  for  her  figure  is  elegant — her  manners  lively 
and  engaging — and  her  whole  appearance  a  model  of 
taste  and  magnificence,"  while  Mr  Hicky  rudely  observes 
that  she  is  "  stuck  up  with  all  the  costly  appendages  of 
Eastern  luxury."  She  carried  the  same  characteristics 
with  her  to  England,  to  the  disgust  of  Fanny  Burney, 
who  writes  of  her  at  first  with  enthusiasm,  as  "lively, 
obliging,  and  entertaining,  and  so  adored  by  her  husband, 
that  in  her  sight  and  conversation  he  seems  to  find  a 
recompense,  adequate  to  all  his  wishes,  for  the  whole 
of  his  toils,  and  long  disturbances  and  labours."  This 
was  in  1786,  but  in  1792  the  diarist  records  her  horror 
on  being  loudly  accosted  in  a  public  place  by  a  lady 
whose  appearance  was  remarkable  for  show  and  parade. 
"  I  have  always  been  very  sorry,"  she  says,  "  that  Mrs 
Hastings,  who  is  a  pleasing,  lively,  and  well-bred  woman, 
with  attractive  manners  and  attentions  to  those  she 
wishes  to  oblige,  should  have  an  indiscretion  so  pecul- 
iarly unsuited  for  her  situation,  as  to  aim  always  at 
being  the  most  conspicuous  figure  wherever  she  appears. 
Her  dress  now  was  like  that  of  an  Indian  princess, 
according  to  our  ideas  of  such  ladies,  and  so  much  the 
most  splendid,  from  its  ornaments,  and  style,  and  fashion, 
though  chiefly  of  muslin,  that  everybody  else  looked 


GENERAL    INTRODUCTION.  33 

under-dressed  in  her  presence.  It  is  for  Mr  Hastings  I 
am  sorry  when  I  see  this  inconsiderate  vanity,  in  a  woman 
who  would  so  much  better  manifest  her  sensibility  of  his 
present  hard  disgrace,  by  a  modest  and  quiet  appearance 
and  demeanour."  Sentiments  differ,  and  it  did  not  occur 
to  Fanny  that  Mrs  Hastings  probably  thought  she  was 
doing  her  best  for  her  husband,  and  expressing  her  un- 
shaken confidence  in  the  result  of  the  Trial,  by  declining 
to  adopt  an  attitude  of  apologetic  woe. 

The  great  drawback  to  her  success  in  English  society 
seems  to  have  been  this  tendency  to  take,  so  to  speak, 
the  centre  of  the  stage,  exhibiting  the  magnificence  of 
attire  and  empressement  of  manner  natural  to  the  queen 
of  a  small  social  circle,  but  liable  to  rouse  unfavourable 
comment  when  she  was  only  one  of  the  members  of  a 
large  one.  Like  her  husband,  she  appears  to  have 
entirely  misconstrued  the  circumstances  of  her  new 
world.  She  was,  as  Wraxall  says,  "a  stranger  to 
England  by  birth,  by  a  long  residence  in  Asia,  and  by  her 
unacquaintance  with  our  modes  of  life  and  our  manners." 
In  the  bitterness  of  party  feeling  which  characterized  the 
time,  even  the  favour  with  which  she  was  received  at 
Court  injured  her  with  a  large  section  of  society.  Hard 
as  the  necessity  must  have  been,  the  retirement  to 
Daylesford  enforced  by  the  expense  of  the  Trial  probably 
brought  her  far  more  happiness  than  a  continuance  in 
the  great  world  would  have  done.  The  peerage  which, 
as  her  husband  told  the  Prince  of  Wales,  she  desired 
rather  than  any  other  honour,  was  never  conferred,  but 
she  was  once  more  a  queen,  though  with  a  limited 
sovereignty.  She  was  a  notable  housewife  and  manager, 
as  her  frequent  gifts  of  farm  produce  to  Hastings'  friends 
testify,  and  she  was  able  to  help  her  own  family1  and  to 
come  to  her  husband's  rescue  with  the  money  she  had 
saved.  Daylesford  became  a  place  of  pilgrimage  even  for 
perfect  strangers,  and  no  descendant  of  the  friends  of 

1  See  Appendix  III. 
C 


34  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

earlier  years  came  near  the  county  without  feeling  bound 
to  pay  his  respects  to  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings.  It  was  not 
only  in  her  husband's  partial  eyes  that  she  retained  her 
beauty  and  spirits  to  old  age,  for  in  1814,  when  she  was 
sixty-seven,  Hastings  Anderson  tells  his  father  that  she 
looks  like  a  person  of  between  twenty  and  thirty. 

In  his  general  admiration  of  everything  connected  with 
his  wife,  Hastings  included  her  handwriting,1  and  we  are 
able  to  test  the  justice  of  his  opinion  by  the  few  letters 
from  her  which  are  to  be  found  among  his  papers.  After 
a  careful  search,  the  present  writer  has  discovered  only 
two  addressed  to  her  husband,  and  one  of  these,  written 
after  her  return  to  England,  and  while  he  was  still  in 
India,  is  a  mere  formal  recommendation  of  a  Mr  Canning, 
beginning,  "  My  dear  Sir."  It  is  obvious  that  the  more 
private  letters,  which  he  preserved  with  so  much  pre- 
caution when  they  reached  him,2  were  carefully  destroyed. 
There  are  a  few  letters  from  her  to  Richard  Johnson,  who 
had  charge  of  her  money  matters  after  his  return  to  Eng- 
land, but  far  more  characteristic  are  the  half-sheets  and 
postscripts,  unnoted  in  the  British  Museum  Catalogue, 
which  she  added  to  her  husband's  letters  to  her  son 
Charles.  These  show  that  while  her  German  writing 
(seen  in  messages  sent  to  her  mother),  was  beautifully 
neat  and  clear,  her  English  hand  was  irregular  and  often 
barely  legible.  She  seems  to  have  spoken  broken  English 
all  her  life  (Hastings'  friend  Dr  Hancock  alludes  to  her 
imperfect  knowledge  of  the  language  in  the  old  days  at 
Calcutta3),  for  she  writes  "  tormant,"  "  towry,"  "  em- 
park,"  and  "safe"  and  "  releafe "  for  save  and  relieve. 
"Wonderfully  well  as  she  speaks  the  English  language," 
writes  her  husband  in  1803  to  Charles  Imhoff,  who  seems 
to  have  taken  exception  to  a  passage  in  a  letter  of  his 
mother's,  "  she  does  not  always  annex  to  words  which 

1  See  infra,  p.  273.  2  See  infra,  p.  381. 

3  See  "A  Friend  of  Warren  Hastings,"  by  the  present  writer,  in  'Blackwood's 
Magazine'  for  April,  1904. 


GENERAL   INTRODUCTION.  35 

are  not  of  common  use  the  precise  meaning  that  belongs 
to  them."  There  is  a  great  charm  in  these  piecemeal 
letters,  which  are  nearly  always  begun  by  Hastings,  his 
wife,  if  she  has  no  more  to  say,  taking  the  pen  just  at 
the  close  to  inform  her  son  of  her  affection  for  him  and 
his  "sweet  Charlotte,"  and  of  the  health  of  "my  excel- 
lent husband  .  .  .  our  valuable  friend  .  .  .  our  inestim- 
able Mr  Hastings." 

It  remains  only  to  speak  of  the  letters  from  Hastings 
to  his  wife  which  form  the  raison  d'etre  of  this  book. 
Bound  together  in  a  thin  quarto  volume,  they  fall  into 
three  series,  dated  respectively  1780,  1781,  and  1784-5, 
and  these  have  been  treated  separately  in  the  following 
pages.  The  paper  is  thick  and  gilt-edged,  and  the  ink 
retains  its  colour  well — in  marked  contrast  to  many  of 
the  papers  in  the  Miscellaneous  Correspondence.  The 
writing  varies  very  much,  as  is  only  natural,  since  some 
of  the  letters  are  hasty  notes,  and  others  were  written  bit 
by  bit,  extending  over  days  or  even  weeks,  but  it  always 
indicates  hurry  and  pressure  of  work,  in  contradistinction 
to  the  beautiful,  leisurely,  regular  hand  of  Hastings'  old 
age.  Scarcely  a  word  is  illegible,  however,  and  the  mis- 
takes and  corrections  are  very  few.  One  peculiarity, 
which  has  led  a  former  transcriber  into  error,  is  the  small 
e  shaped  like  o,  which  is  of  constant  occurrence,  and 
appears  also  in  the  writing  of  other  old  Westminsters, 
thus  suggesting  that  it  was  due  to  a  writing-master 
employed  at  the  School.  The  spelling  has  been  left  as 
it  appears  in  the  originals,  but  the  frequent  contractions 
are  disregarded,  save  in  one  short  letter,1  which  has 
been  printed  as  it  stands  in  the  MS.,  merely  as  an 
example. 

These  letters,  together  with  the  immense  mass  of  other 
papers  in  the  collection,  were  purchased  by  the  Museum 
in  1872  from  the  representatives  of  the  late  Rev.  Thomas 
Winter,  Rector  of  Daylesford,  who  had  married  a  niece 

1  Letter  VIII.  of  Series  III. 


36  LETTERS    OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

of  Mrs  Hastings,1  and  to  whom  they  were  bequeathed  by 
Sir  Charles  Imhoffon  his  death  in  1853.  It  is  difficult  to 
imagine  that  the  Letters  can  have  been  intentionally 
included  in  the  sale,  as  Miss  Winter,  who  has  kindly 
given  all  the  information  in  her  power,  says  that  "the 
more  private  letters,  &c.,  were  reserved."  It  is  clear  that 
they  were  not  among  the  papers  entrusted  to  Gleig  for 
the  purposes  of  the  Biography,  for  (i)  they  are  not 
included  in  the  list,  filling  six  or  seven  foolscap  pages, 
which  is  to  be  found  in  one  of  the  volumes  of  miscel- 
laneous memoranda,  and  (2)  he  makes  no  quotation 
from  them  whatever.  In  his  third  volume  he  does, 
indeed,  give  one  or  two  of  Hastings'  letters  to  his  wife 
after  her  departure,  but  these  are  not  to  be  found  in  the 
Museum  collection,  though  they  fill  up  some  of  the  gaps 
in  Series  III.,  and  he  complains  of  their  fragmentary  and 
inconsecutive  nature.  They  are  introduced  here  in  their 
proper  place,  distinguished  by  special  marks,  and  are 
given  with  all  reserve,  since  there  has  been  no  oppor- 
tunity of  comparing  them  with  the  originals.  Miss 
Winter  is  unable  to  throw  any  light  upon  the  separation 
of  these  letters  from  the  rest,  or  upon  the  sale  of  the 
larger  number  to  the  Museum.  She  understands  that  the 
papers  sent  to  Gleig  in  perfect  order  (as  is  attested  by 
the  very  complete  and  carefully  numbered  list),  were 
kept  by  him  for  a  preposterous  length  of  time,  and 
after  repeated  requests  on  the  part  of  the  family,  were 
returned  in  a  chaotic  condition  in  a  barrel !  It  would 
appear,  therefore,  either  that  the  Letters  were  intention- 
ally reserved  by  Mrs  Hastings  when  she  placed  the  bulk 
of  her  husband's  papers  at  Gleig's  disposal,  or  that  they 
had  even  then  been  mislaid.  In  either  case,  when  found 
after  her  death,  their  nature  not  being  perceived,  they 
would  be  placed  with  the  rest  of  the  papers,  the  immense 
mass  of  which  must  have  baffled  all  ordinary  research, 
and  would  only  come  to  light  when  these  were  being 
1  See  Appendix  III. 


GENERAL   INTRODUCTION.  37 

arranged  and  catalogued  for  the  Museum.  Attention 
was  first  called  to  them  by  Mr  Beveridge  in  the  '  Cal- 
cutta Review '  in  1877,  and  Dr  Busteed  has  printed 
portions  of  them  in  his  '  Echoes  from  Old  Calcutta/ 
but  they  have  never  hitherto  been  published  in  extenso. 
In  conclusion,  an  apology  must  be  offered  to  the  dis- 
tinguished editor  of  the  '  Letters  of  Dorothy  Osborne ' 
for  what  is,  after  all,  only  very  sincere  flattery.  The 
present  writer  has  endeavoured  to  follow  his  method 
throughout,  confining  the  editorial  comment  to  the 
beginning  of  each  letter,  and  breaking  the  course  of 
the  text  as  little  as  possible  by  footnotes.  To  carry 
the  method  further,  the  text  and  the  comment  are 
printed  in  differing  types,  so  that  the  letters  can  be 
read  continuously  if  this  is  preferred. 


SERIES    I. 


INTRODUCTION. 

INDIA   IN    1780. 

IN  order  to  realise  the  state  of  public  affairs  at  the 
time  this  series  of  letters  was  written,  it  is  well  to  study 
it  with  the  aid  of  a  map — a  large  map.  In  Bengal  alone 
did  the  Company  possess  a  homogeneous  dominion,  as 
distinct  from  a  fringe  of  coast-towns,  each  controlling 
more  or  less  thoroughly  the  district  round  it.  Bengal 
and  Behar,1  secured  by  the  grant  of  the  Emperor 
Shah  Alam  to  Clive,  and  no  longer  even  nominally  ruled 
by  the  shadowy  Nawab  at  Murshidabad,  served  as 
the  base  of  a  British  wedge  driven  into  the  heart  of 
Northern  India.  The  Karamnasa,  which  flows  into 
the  Ganges  above  Buxar,  was  the  limit  of  the  Com- 
pany's territory,  but  by  virtue  of  the  agreement  with 
the  Nawab-Vizier  of  Oudh,  their  troops  occupied  posts  at 
Chanar,  Mirzapur,  Cawnpore,  Fatihgarh,  and  even  as  far 
as  Hardwar.  Along  the  whole  length  of  this  extended 
frontier  the  enemy  to  be  feared  was  the  Marathas,  in 
whose  hands  Shah  Alam  was  a  puppet  at  Delhi,  and 
whose  power  extended  from  Poonah  to  the  Jamna,  and 
from  Gujarat  to  Cuttack.  The  nominal  head  of  their 
confederacy  was  the  Paishwa — at  this  time  the  guardians 

1  Orissa  was  still  dominated  by  the  Berar  Marathas. 


SERIES    I. — INTRODUCTION.  39 

of  the  infant  Paishwa — at  Poonah,  but  the  great  chief- 
tains, Sindhia,  Holkar,  and  the  representative  of  the 
Bhonsla  family  of  Berar,  had  practically  achieved  inde- 
pendence. The  Berar  territories,  extending  to  Cuttack, 
separated  Bengal  from  Madras,  and  between  Bengal  and 
Bombay  lay  not  only  the  Marathas,  but  the  dominions  of 
Nizam  Ali,  "  Soubah  of  the  Deccan,"  reputed  the  most 
subtle  politician  in  India  since  the  death  of  Maharaja 
Nundocomar.1  Madras,  in  like  manner,  was  separated 
from  Bombay  by  a  part  of  the  Maratha  dominions  and 
the  state  of  Mysore,  over  which  ruled  Haidar  Ali,  called 
in  derision  the  Naik.  Once  it  is  recognised  that  the 
English  were  isolated  in  three  enclaves  on  different  parts 
of  the  coast,  with  no  communication  except  by  sea,  the 
respective  policies  of  Hastings  and  of  the  native  powers 
with  their  French  advisers  become  clear.  His  aim  was 
to  split  up  the  forces  opposed  to  him  by  means  of 
alliances — with  the  smaller  Central  Indian  states  against 
the  Marathas,  with  one  section  of  the  Marathas  against 
another,  or  with  Haidar  against  all  of  them2 — and  to 
promote  intercourse  by  land  between  the  various  British 
possessions,  while  theirs,  as  obviously,  was  to  keep  these 
isolated,  and  then  combine  to  crush  them  in  detail.  It  was 
in  the  fertile  brain  of  Nizam  Ali  that  the  plan  originated 
of  a  great  Quadruple  Alliance,  under  which  he  himself 
was  to  invade  the  Northern  Circars,  Haidar  the  Car- 
natic,  and  Mudaji  Bhonsla  of  Berar  Bengal,  while  the 
Marathas  continued  the  war  which  was  already  raging 
on  the  Bombay  side. 

In  his  diplomacy  Hastings  met  with  no  assistance  from 
his  subordinates  in  the  other  Presidencies.  The  Bombay 
Committee,  alternately  appealing  for  help  and  direction 
from  Bengal,  and  launching  out  wildly  on  its  own  respon- 
sibility, could  only  be  depended  upon  to  do  at  every  crisis 
exactly  the  thing  that  should  not  have  been  done,  and  the 

1  '  Memoirs  of  the  War  in  Asia. '     By  an  Officer. 

2  G.  F.  Grand's  '  Reminiscences.' 


40          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

Madras  Committee  followed  its  example  with  zeal  worthy 
of  a  better  cause,  contriving  to  furnish  Haidar  and  the 
Nizam  simultaneously  with  a  pretext  for  war  by  the 
occupation  of  the  Gantur  Circar.  More  irritating  even 
than  this  stupidity  was  the  opposition  he  met  with  in  his 
own  Council,  for  though  the  junior  members,  Francis  and 
Wheler,  could  not  carry  any  measure  against  the  Gover- 
nor-General's casting  vote  supported  by  that  of  Harwell, 
they  could,  and  did,  call  in  question  every  measure  he 
proposed,  and  insist  on  dragging  the  most  delicate 
negociations  prematurely  into  the  light.  Not  content 
with  this,  Francis  was  sedulous  in  communicating  to  the 
native  princes,  both  the  subjects  and  the  allies  of  the 
Company,  every  expression  of  censure  used  by  the  Home 
Government  with  respect  to  Hastings,  and  in  prophesying 
his  speedy  disgrace  and  recall,  thus  playing  a  part  not 
entirely  unknown  in  more  recent  history. 

In  1779  Francis's  ambition  met  with  a  severe  check  in 
the  arrival  of  the  new  Commander-in-Chief,  Sir  Eyre 
Coote,  whom  he  had  confidently  expected  to  find  on  his 
side.  But  Coote,  though  irritable  and  suspicious  to  the 
last  degree,  had  come  out  with  the  determination  to 
devote  himself  to  the  charge  of  the  army,  and  judge  all 
other  matters  on  their  merits  as  they  arose.  Hastings 
gave  the  military  department  over  to  him,  and  increased 
his  allowances  to  the  amount  necessary  to  allow  him  to 
make  a  tour  of  inspection  among  the  up-river  posts  l  (his 
predecessor  had  scarcely  quitted  Calcutta),  and  bore 
patiently  with  his  almost  insane  jealousy  on  any  point 
which  he  conceived  to  touch  his  rights.  Since  Coote 
might  apparently  be  depended  upon  to  support  the 
Governor  -  General,  Harwell,  who  had  long  desired  to 
leave  India,  thought  it  safe  to  do  so,  but  the  frequent 
long  absences  from  Calcutta  of  the  Commander-in-Chief 
made  it  necessary  to  take  measures  to  prevent  Hastings 
finding  himself  again  in  a  minority  on  his  own  Council. 

1  See  j'nfra,  p.  167,  and  Appendix  IV. 


SERIES    I. — INTRODUCTION.  4! 

A  reconciliation,  or  accommodation  as  it  was  then  called, 
was  set  on  foot — the  intermediaries  being  Captain  John 
Scott1  on  the  part  of  Hastings,  and  Mr  Ducarel  on  that 
of  Francis — and  brought  to  a  successful  close  by  the  good 
offices  of  Sir  John  Day,  the  newly  arrived  Advocate- 
General.  Hastings  engaged  to  allow  Francis  a  fair  share 
of  Government  patronage,  and  yielded  to  him  in  various 
matters  over  which  they  had  disagreed,  while  the  prime 
concession  on  Francis's  part  was  his  promise  not  to 
oppose  any  measures  which  the  Governor-General  should 
recommend  for  the  prosecution  of  the  war  with  .the 
Marathas.  He  asserted  afterwards  that  he  annexed  a 
condition  to  the  effect  that  only  measures  then  actually 
in  progress  were  to  be  included,  but  this  was  absolutely 
denied  both  by  Hastings  and  Sir  John  Day,  and  it  is 
primd  facie  improbable  that  Hastings  would  have  ac- 
cepted it.  With  his  usual  confidence  in  his  opponent's 
good  faith,  the  Governor-General  did  not  obtain  Francis's 
signature  to  the  agreement,  though  he  took  the  precaution 
of  reducing  it  to  writing  and  showing  it  to  him  for  his 
approval,  which  he  gave  "  most  firmly."  Barwell  sailed 
for  England,  and  almost  immediately  difficulties  began. 

It  is  not  necessary  to  trace  here  the  course  of  the 
Second  Maratha  War,2  which  Francis  and  his  supporters 
in  England  persisted  in  calling  "  Mr  Hastings'  War," 
though  when  he  was  angling  for  Hastings'  assistance  in 
1806,  Francis  confessed  that  he  had  forgotten  material 
facts  when  he  did  so.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  it  arose  out 
of  the  support  by  the  Bombay  Committee  of  Raghunath 
Rao,  who  claimed  the  Paishwaship,  in  opposition  to  the 
infant  in  possession,  his  reputed  nephew. 

The  outbreak  of  war  with  France  in  March,  1778,  had 
given  an  additional  importance  to  Hastings'  policy  of 
making  British  influence  felt  in  Central  India,  since  St 
Lubin,  the  French  emissary  at  Poonah,  had  obtained 

1  See  infra,  p.  67. 

-  See  '  The  Great  Proconsul,'  chapters  viii.,  ix.,  and  xi. 


42          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

from  the  Maratha  regents  the  promise  of  Chaul,  a  port 
on  the  Malabar  coast,  as  a  place  d'armes,  in  return  for 
which  France  was  to  support  them  with  a  fleet,  warlike 
stores,  and  officers  for  the  training  of  their  troops.  A 
force  of  Bengal  Sepoys  had  already  been  sent  to  the 
assistance  of  Bombay,  but  not  by  sea.  Starting  from 
Kalpi  on  the  Jamna,  it  was  to  march  down  through  Ban- 
delkhand,  familiarising  regions  hitherto  untraversed  with 
the  idea  of  British  power.  Almost  at  the  same  time,  the 
inertness  of  the  Bombay  Committee  in  supporting  their 
candidate,  Raghunath  Rao,  suggested  a  means  of  de- 
taching Berar  from  the  Maratha  confederacy.  The  last 
direct  descendant  of  Sivaji  had  lately  died  at  Satara,  and 
Mudaji  Bhonsla  was  generally  accepted  as  the  rightful 
heir.  Why  not  sweep  away  the  usurpation  of  the 
Paishwas — who  merely  played  the  part  of  mayors  of  the 
palace  to  the  rois  faineants  of  the  house  of  Sivaji — and 
re-establish  the  royal  line  in  the  person  of  Mudaji,  thus 
setting  up  in  the  very  heart  of  India  a  powerful  kingdom 
owing  its  inception  to  the  Company,  and  bound  to  it  by 
chains  of  gratitude  ?  This  was  in  Hastings'  mind  when 
he  despatched  Elliot  to  Nagpur,  only  to  be  forced  by  the 
Bombay  Committee's  sudden  activity  on  behalf  of  Rag- 
hunath Rao  to  send  messengers  after  him  to  direct  him 
not  to  broach  the  subject,  and  to  treat  only  of  an  ordinary 
alliance  and  the  passage  through  Berar  of  the  British 
force.  To  the  intense  grief  of  Hastings,  and  the  utter 
destruction  of  his  plans  with  regard  to  Berar,  Elliot  died 
of  fever  near  Cuttack,  and  the  negociations  with  which  he 
was  charged  lapsed  for  more  than  six  months,  when  they 
were  taken  up  by  Colonel  Goddard,  the  successor  of  the 
dilatory  and  avaricious  Colonel  Leslie  in  the  command  of 
the  Bandelkhand  force.  In  this  interval  the  support 
given  to  Raghunath  Rao  by  the  British  had  become 
known,  the  wiles  of  Nizam  Ali  had  drawn  Mudaji — almost 
against  his  will — into  the  Quadruple  Alliance,  and  the 
disgraceful  convention  of  Wargaon  (January,  1779),  had 


SERIES   I. — INTRODUCTION.  43 

left  the  Marathas  triumphant  over  Bombay,  and  lowered 
British  prestige  throughout  Asia.  In  the  pursuit  of  his 
great  object,  Hastings  was  endeavouring  also  to  unite  the 
princes  of  Rajputana — Udaipur,  Jodhpur,  and  the  rest — 
with  the  Company  against  the  Marathas,  but  his  efforts 
in  this  direction  were  baffled,  not  only  by  the  disgrace  of 
Wargaon,  but  by  the  general  belief  in  the  instability  of 
his  power — the  result  of  Francis's  past  activities — and  by 
the  news  of  the  British  defeats  in  America,  which,  as 
published  in  the  '  Leyden  Gazette,'  was  diligently  circu- 
lated by  the  French  among  the  native  courts. 

Hastings  had  played  for  a  strong  central  position,  from 
which  to  command  his  enemies'  lines  of  communication, 
and  had  lost.  He  could  now  only  use  all  possible  means 
to  delay  the  war  upon  which  the  Nizam  and  Haidar  were 
determined,  and  in  the  mean  time  do  his  utmost  to 
keep  Berar  hovering  between  two  opinions.  The  English 
were  not  in  Nagpur,  but  so  long  as  the  position  was  not 
occupied  by  an  active  enemy  there  was  still  room  for 
hope,  and  a  decisive  British  success  might  at  any  time 
give  Mudaji  an  excuse  to  sever  himself  from  his  undesired 
allies. 

Goddard's  march  to  Surat,  which  was  triumphantly 
accomplished  by  the  end  of  January,  1779,  assured  the 
Governor-General  that  at  last  he  had  at  his  disposal  a 
general  on  whom  he  could  depend,  and  to  him  he 
turned  for  the  execution  of  the  work  needed  at  the 
moment  —  the  conclusion  of  the  Maratha  war  before 
the  rest  of  the  allies  could  make  war  universal.  Nego- 
ciations  failed,  for  the  Poonah  Ministry  demanded  the 
fulfilment  of  the  Wargaon  Convention,  which  the  British 
authorities  absolutely  refused,  but  Goddard's  strong  point 
was  war  rather  than  diplomacy.  He  had  already  crossed 
the  path  of  the  Maratha  chieftains  in  regions  which 
they  had  regarded  as  all  their  own,  and  by  his  suc- 
cesses in  Gujarat  he  now  demanded  their  attention  in 
a  new  quarter.  He  saw  the  importance  of  dividing 


44          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

them,  and  begged  Hastings  to  arrange  that  they  should 
be  assailed  simultaneously  from  another  direction.  The 
needed  opportunity  was  presented  by  the  Rana  of  Gohad, 
a  minute  state  lying  between  Gwalior  and  the  Jamna. 
The  Rana  had  quarrelled  with  Sindhia,  his  suzerain, 
and  sought  an  alliance  with  the  English,  and  Hastings 
had  negociated  a  treaty  with  him,  amid  much  interrup- 
tion from  the  jealousy  of  Coote.  Sindhia  demanded 
the  usual  feudal  service  from  his  rebellious  vassal,  and 
ravaged  his  territories  when  it  was  not  forthcoming, 
whereupon  the  Rana  claimed  the  help  of  the  English. 
Here  was  a  chance  at  once  of  dividing  the  attention  of 
the  Marathas,  and  of  driving  a  second  British  wedge, 
this  time  from  north  to  south,  into  Central  India. 
Hastings  ordered  Captain  Popham,  who  was  in  com- 
mand of  reinforcements  for  Goddard,  and  Major  Camac,1 
who  was  posted  on  the  Jamna  to  defend  the  line  of 
that  river,  to  march  to  the  Rana's  assistance. 

This  was  the  moment  chosen  by  Francis,  after  three 
months  of  comparative  quiescence,  to  show  himself  un- 
changed. It  would  appear  that  glowing  assurances 
from  his  friends  in  England  of  the  intention  of  the 
Government  to  appoint  him  immediately  as  Hastings' 
successor  had  destroyed  his  prudence,  and  he  threw 
off  the  mask.  Once  more — despite  the  dismal  falsifica- 
tion of  his  former  prophecies — he  saw  visions  of  forces 
cut  to  pieces  by  Maratha  horsemen  or  annihilated  by 
disease  and  hardship  in  Central  India,  and  a  treasury 
emptied  to  pay  their  expenses.  Dragging  the  docile  Mr 
Wheler  in  his  train,  he  opposed  the  Governor-General's 
proposal  in  a  series  of  minutes,  resisting  first  the  order 
sent  to  Camac  and  Popham  jointly,  and  then  Hastings' 
modified  suggestion  that  Camac  should  proceed  alone. 
Hastings  called  upon  the  two  malcontents,2  reasoned 
with  them,  reminded  them  of  the  engagement  entered 

1  Misspelt  Carnac  by  Gleig. 

2  For  the  curious  details  see  '  The  Great  Proconsul,'  chapter  xv. 


SERIES   I. —  INTRODUCTION.  45 

into  before  Harwell's  departure,  but  in  vain,  and  de- 
spairing of  moving  them,  resolved  at  any  rate  to  remove 
that  part  of  their  objection  which  was  based  upon  the 
cost  of  the  proposed  expedition.  A  sum  of  two  lakhs 
of  rupees  had  been  offered  to  him  personally  as  a 
peace  -  offering  by  the  finance  minister  of  Chait  Singh,, 
the  recalcitrant  zamindar  of  Benares,1  and  he  now 
accepted  it  for  the  purpose  of  supplying  the  extra  pay 
and  allowances  which  field  service  would  necessitate 
for  Camac's  force. 

Francis  still  refused  his  assent,  and  the  situation 
became  desperate.  Goddard  was  anxiously  demanding 
the  diversion,  which  was  to  draw  Sindhia  away  from 
him  by  striking  a  blow  at  that  chieftain's  hereditary 
dominions,  the  Berar  troops  were  mobilised  in  threaten- 
ing proximity  to  Bengal,  Mudaji  daring  no  longer  to 
withstand  the  demands  of  the  Poonah  Ministry  and 
Nizam  Ali,  and  Hastings  was  straining  every  nerve  to 
conciliate  the  Nizam  and  Haidar  and  avert  open  war 
with  them  for  the  present.  Goddard's  small  force 
could  not  withstand  the  whole  Maratha  army,  and  a 
disaster  to  him  would  mean  absolute  ruin.  Hastings 
was  pledged  to  support  him,  and  the  diversion  in  his 
favour  must  be  made  at  once,  since  the  rains,  which 
were  fatal  to  the  mobility  of  the  Marathas,  offered 
little  obstacle  to  English  troops.  Meanwhile,  Francis, 
while  unconsciously  doing  his  utmost  to  make  war  in- 
evitable, was  prating  of  peace  as  the  supreme  need  of 
the  time.  For  once  patience  and  conciliation  were  out 
of  place,  and  Hastings  replied  to  the  final  refusal  in  a 
minute  containing  perhaps  the  most  terrible  indictment 
ever  brought  by  one  public  man  against  another. 

"I  did  hope,"  he  says,2  "that  the  intimation  con- 
veyed in  my  last  minute  would  have  awakened  in  Mr 

1  See  introduction  to  Series  II.,  and  Appendix  IV. 

2  'Selections  from  the  State  Papers  preserved  in  the  Foreign  Department.' 
Ed.  by  G.  W.  Forrest,  C.I.E. 


46  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Francis's  breast,  if  it  were  susceptible  of  such  sensations, 
a  consciousness  of  the  faithless  part  which  he  was  acting 
towards  me.  I  have  been  disappointed,  and  must  now 
assume  a  plainer  style  and  a  louder  tone.  In  a  word,  my 
objections  do  not  lie  to  the  special  matter  of  his  minutes, 
to  which  I  shall  separately  reply,  but  to  the  spirit  of 
opposition  which  dictated  them.  I  have  lately  offered 
various  plans  for  the  operations  of  the  war.  These 
have  been  successively  rejected  as  I  have  successively 
amended  and  endeavoured  to  accommodate  them  to 
Mr  Francis's  objections.  I  had  a  right  to  his  implicit 
acquiescence.  I  have  lately  proposed  a  service  requir- 
ing immediate  execution,  and  I  have  freed  it  from  the 
only  objection  formally  made  to  it.  ...  In  truth  I 
do  not  trust  to  his  promise  of  candor,  convinced  that 
he  is  incapable  of  it,  and  that  his  sole  purpose  and 
wish  are  to  embarrass  and  defeat  every  measure  which 
I  may  undertake,  or  which  may  even  tend  to  promote 
the  public  interests,  if  my  credit  is  connected  with 
them.  .  .  .  Every  fabricated  tale  of  armies  devoted  to 
famine  or  to  massacre  have  found  their  first  and  ready 
way  to  his  office,  where  it  was  known  they  would  meet 
the  most  welcome  reception.  To  the  same  design  may  be 
attributed  the  annual  computations  of  declining  finances 
and  an  exhausted  treasury,  computations  which,  though 
made  in  the  time  of  abundance,  must  verge  to  truth 
at  last,  from  the  effect  of  a  discordant  government,  not 
a  constitutional  decay.  .  .  .  My  authority  for  the 
opinions  which  I  have  declared  concerning  Mr  Francis 
depends  upon  facts  which  have  passed  within  my  own 
certain  knowledge.  I  judge  of  his  public  conduct  by 
my  experience  of  his  private,  which  I  have  found  to 
be  void  of  truth  and  honour.  This  is  a  severe  charge, 
but  temperately  and  deliberately  made,  from  the  firm 
persuasion  that  I  owe  this  justice  to  the  public  and  to 
myself,  as  the  only  redress  to  both,  for  artifices  of  which 
I  have  been  a  victim,  and  which  threaten  to  involve  their 


SERIES    I. — INTRODUCTION.  47 

interests  with  disgrace  and  ruin.  The  only  redress  for 
a  fraud  for  which  the  law  has  made  no  provision  is 
the  exposure  of  it.  ...  By  the  sanction  of  this  en- 
gagement (the  accommodation),  and  the  liberal  pro- 
fessions which  accompanied  it,  I  was  seduced  to  part 
with  the  friend  to  whose  generous  and  honorable  sup- 
port steadfastly  yielded  in  a  course  of  six  years  I  am 
indebted  for  the  existence  of  the  little  power  which  I 
have  ever  possessed  in  that  long  and  disgraceful  period, 
to  throw  myself  on  the  mercy  of  Mr  Francis,  and  on 
the  desperate  hazard  of  his  integrity.  .  .  .  Surely  this 
difference  in  our  relative  situations  ought  to  have  im- 
pressed him  with  a  sense  of  what  he  owed  to  the 
delicacy  attending  it,  and  have  made  him  dread  even 
an  approach  towards  the  precise  line  of  his  obligations, 
by  the  slightest  advantage  taken  of  my  inability  to  repel 
it :  and  how  much  more  ought  it  to  have  restrained 
him  from  the  direct  transgression  of  it !  .  .  ." 

The  slow,  inextinguishable  wrath  of  a  long-suffering 
man  burns  in  every  line  of  the  document.  It  was  de- 
liberately framed  with  the  intention  of  bringing  matters 
to  a  crisis.  Grand  tells  us  that  young  Markham, 
Hastings'  private  secretary,  who  was  writing  it  at  his 
dictation,  pointed  out  to  him  that  his  words  left  Francis 
no  choice  between  exhibiting  active  resentment  and  ac- 
cepting public  disgrace  if  he  remained  silent.  Hastings 
praised  his  discernment,  remarking  that  this  was  exactly 
what  he  intended.  But  before  the  minute  could  be  laid 
before  the  Council,  Sir  John  Day  came  forward  again 
as  peace  -  maker,  aghast  at  the  untoward  result  of  his 
former  efforts.  He  visited  Francis  and  reasoned  with 
him,  returning  with  the  proposal  that  Hastings  should 
suspend  the  expedition  until  the  advices  expected  from 
home  should  determine  which  was  to  be  supreme  in 
future.  This  suggestion,  which  would  have  involved  the 
loss  of  the  season,  Hastings  rejected  promptly,  and  Sir 
John  went  back  to  point  out  once  more  to  Francis  the 


48  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

unreasonableness  of  his  conduct.  He  found  him  seized 
with  influenza,  which  was  then  epidemic  in  Calcutta,  in 
considerable  pain  and  disinclined  to  talk,  but  succeeded 
in  drawing  from  him  a  species  of  concession.  He 
would  be  obliged  to  go  away  for  a  time  to  recruit ; 
in  that  interval  Hastings  might  take  any  steps  he 
liked,  Francis  washed  his  hands  of  them.  During  a 
further  visit,  he  agreed  to  withdraw  his  obstructive 
minutes,  and  Hastings  thereupon  withheld  the  one  he 
had  written. 

When  the  curtain  rises,  therefore,  upon  this  first  series 
of  letters,  Hastings  is  at  Calcutta,  awaiting  the  long 
delayed  news  from  home  which  may  oblige  him  to  step 
aside  and  yield  his  place  to  Francis,  but  happy  in  the 
knowledge  that  his  orders  to  Camac  have  been  de- 
spatched by  special  messengers.  Francis  is  taking  a 
holiday  on  the  river,  heard  of  now  at  Serampore  and 
now  at  Chandernagor,  and  later  extending  his  voyage 
as  far  as  Plassey.  The  fateful  minute  is  locked  up  in 
Hastings'  desk. 

For  the  purpose  of  reference,  the  following  table  of 
distances,  taken  from  Colesworthy  Grant's  '  Rural 
Bengal,'  may  be  found  useful.  Barrackpore  was  six- 
teen miles  above  Calcutta,  with  Serampore  exactly 
opposite  it.  Ishapore  was  three  miles  above  Barrack- 
pore,  and  a  little  below  Ishapore  was  Pulta  Ghaut,  where 
there  was  a  ferry  by  which  travellers  crossed  the  river  to 
reach  the  dak  roads  to  the  North- West,  used  when  the 
easier  journey  by  river  would  have  taken  too  long. 
Chandernagor  was  twelve  miles  above  Ishapore,  and 
Chinsura  three  miles  further.  Two  miles  higher  still 
was  Hugli,  a  modern  settlement  which  had  sprung  from 
the  old  Portuguese  factory  at  Bandel,  a  mile  above.  The 
next  place  of  any  note  was  Suksagar — "  about  forty  miles 
from  Calcutta,"  says  Dr  Busteed.  The  Suksagar  of 
Hastings'  day  exists  no  longer.  According  to  Grant,  it 


SERIES   I. — INTRODUCTION.  49 

was  destroyed  by  a  land-slip,  due  to  the  encroachments 
of  the  river. 

This  series  of  letters  is  endorsed  in  Mrs  Hastings' 
writing,  "  Letters  from  my  Excellent  Husband  when  I 
was  at  Hugly,  and  Chinsura."  l  Only  a  few  of  them  are 
definitely  dated;  the  dates  suggested  for  the  rest  are 
enclosed  in  brackets.  The  number  in  brackets  placed 
at  the  head  of  each  letter  refers  to  the  page  in  the  British 
Museum  arrangement  of  the  originals. 

1  Not  Chinsurar,  as  Dr  Busteed  reads. 


CHAPTER    I. 

JULY  TO  SEPTEMBER,  1780. 
LETTER   I. 

ON  July  8th,  as  we  learn  from  the  '  Bengal  Gazette/ 
Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  left  Calcutta  for  a  trip  to  Suksagar, 
paying  a  visit  to  Chinsura  on  their  way.  Hastings  was 
in  Calcutta  again  for  the  meeting  of  Council  on  the 
13th,1  but  his  wife  remained  behind.  When  this  letter 
was  written,  he  was  planning  to  meet  her  off  Chinsura 
on  her  way  down  from  Suksagar.  She  would  have  seen 
her  friends  at  the  Dutch  factory  again,  but  in  the  critical 
state  of  public  affairs  he  did  not  care  to  expose  himself 
to  their  questions. 

A  FEELCHEHRA  (fil-chehra,  elephant- faced),  was  a  state 
pleasure-boat,2  or  more  accurately,  a  small  house-boat. 
Dr  Busteed  says  it  received  its  name  from  being  dec- 
orated with  an  elephant  head  at  the  prow.  It  seems 
to  have  been  smaller  and  faster  than  the  budgerow,  and 
less  fitted  for  heavy  weather. 

MRS  MOTTE  was  before  her  marriage  Miss  Mary 
Touchet,  and  was  sister  of  the  Peter  Touchet  who 
united  with  Hastings  and  other  old  Westminsters  in 
presenting  a  silver  cup  to  Westminster  School  in  1777. 
In  1779  she  was  married  to  Mr  Motte,  a  merchant  who 
is  first  mentioned  in  Hancock's  letters  as  trading  in 
diamonds  at  Benares  in  1770.  They  lived  at  Hugli, 

1  State  Papers.  2  Yule  and  Burnell,  "  Hobson-Jobson." 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   I.  51 

where  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  often  visited  them.  Mrs 
Fay  mentions  Mrs  Motte  as  "  a  most  charming  woman." 
We  shall  hear  of  her  frequently  in  the  letters  that  follow. 

The  Hon.  JOHANNES  MATTHIAS  Ross  was  the  head  of 
the  Dutch  factory  at  Chinsura.  He  and  his  wife  were 
warm  friends  of  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings,  who  paid  them 
frequent  visits,  as  Chinsura  was  considered  much 
healthier  than  Calcutta.  Their  constant  intercourse 
caused  Mr  Ross  to  be  suspected  by  his  countrymen  of 
an  undue  attachment  to  the  English,  but  this  was  unjust. 
On  the  outbreak  of  war  with  Holland  in  July,  1781, 
orders  were  given  to  seize  the  Dutch  ships  and  factories 
in  the  East  Indies.  To  spare  Mr  Ross's  feelings,  it 
was  specially  arranged  that  an  overwhelming  force  should 
march  upon  Chinsura,  and  demand  his  surrender,  but 
owing  to  a  mistake,  only  a  lieutenant  and  fourteen  men 
were  sent.  Deeply  affronted,  Mr  Ross  retired  into  the 
factory,  drew  up  his  bridges,  and  refused  to  yield  to 
anything  less  than  a  regiment  of  Sepoys,  which  was 
accordingly  despatched  from  Chandernagor,  then  in 
the  hands  of  the  English.1  An  advertisement  in  the 
'  Bengal  Gazette '  announces  that  Mr  Ross's  effects  are 
to  be  sold  at  Chinsura  on  December  3rd,  and  the  '  India 
Gazette '  a  little  later  mentions  that  he  has  disposed  of 
them  by  private  sale,  without  holding  an  outcry,  or 
auction.  This  was  evidently  in  preparation  for  a 
return  to  Europe.  In  1795,  a  former  employe  at  the 
factory,  writing  to  Hastings,  says  that  Mrs  Ross  died 
about  a  year  after  reaching  home,  and  that  Mr  Ross 
married  again,  but  died  shortly  afterwards  at  Brussels. 

MRS  VERNETT  (Vernet),  was  the  widow  of  a  former 
Governor  of  Chinsura.  George  Louis  Vernet,  who  be- 
longed to  a  noble  French  family,  and  began  life  as  page 
to  Louis  XV.,  went  to  Bengal  in  the  Dutch  service  in 
1750.  At  the  time  of  the  destruction  of  Calcutta  by 
Siraj-u-Daula,  he  was  second  in  command  at  the  Cal- 

1  '  India  Gazette.' 


52          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

capore  factory,  and  showed  great  kindness  to  the  English 
fugitives  from  Kasimbazar,  of  whom  Hastings  was  one. 
This  seems  to  have  been  the  beginning  of  their  friend- 
ship. Vernet  became  Governor  of  Chinsura  in  1764, 
and  lived  there  "with  great  hospitality  and  in  very 
elegant  style "  till  1770,  when  he  went  to  Batavia,  and 
died  there  in  I775-1  His  widow  returned  to  live  at 
Chinsura,  and  Mrs  Hastings  brought  about  a  marriage 
between  her  daughter  and  Lady  Day's  brother,  Henry 
Ramus,  rather  to  the  displeasure,  so  Francis  says,  of 
Sir  John  Day.2  Vernet's  elegant  hospitality  had  evi- 
dently left  his  widow  in  reduced  circumstances,  for 
when  Hastings  quitted  India  she  figures  on  his  private 
"pension-list"  as  the  recipient  of  two  hundred  rupees 
a  month.  There  are  one  or  two  letters  from  her,  full 
of  affection  for  him  and  "the  dear  Mrs  Hastings." 
Chapman,  whose  duty  it  was  to  pay  her  the  pension, 
writes  of  her  as  "  Poor  good  Mama  Vernet."  This  is 
in  1793,  when  he  sends  the  news  of  her  death,  which 
had  already  been  announced  to  Hastings  by  her  sister, 
Mme.  Fromaget. 

(27.) 

CALCUTTA,  Sunday  Morning.     (July  i6tA.) 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  write  this  purposely  to  tell 
you  that  I  have  resolved  to  meet  you  to-morrow  unless 
you  arrive  before  the  Time  which  I  have  fixed  for  my 
Embarkation.  My  Plan  is  to  set  off  in  my  Feelchehra 
at  two  o'clock  in  the  Afternoon,  which  will  be  about 
the  Beginning  of  the  Flood  Tide,  and  of  course  the 
Time  that  you  will  be  at  Anchor. — I  shall  carry  my 
Dinner  with  me,  and  feel  great  Pleasure  in  the  Project. 

1  *  Ecclesiastical  and  Historical  Sketches,  by  Asiaticus '  (supposed  to  be 
Major  Scott  Waring),  Calcutta,  1803. 

2  Parkes  and  Merivale,  *  Memoirs  of  Sir  P.  Francis. ' 


SERIES   I. — LETTER   II.  53 

I  hope  you  will  not  disappoint  me ;  for  I  shall  not  chuse 
to  land  at  Chinchura  for  many  Reasons. 

I  will  not  quarrel  with  Mrs  Motte,  but  I  will  certainly 
turn  her  out  of  her  Place.  Adieu,  my  beloved. 

Yours  ever,  W.  H. 

Compliments  to  Mr  Ross,  Mrs  Motte,  and  Mrs  Vernett. 
I  will  write  to  Mr  Ross. 

Remember  me  particularly  to  Mrs  Vernett. 


LETTER  II. 

The  date  of  this  letter  is  fixed  by  the  announcement 
in  the  '  Bengal  Gazette '  of  July  ist  of  the  arrival  of 
the  Duke  of  Kingston,  Captain  Justinian  Nutt.  The  three 
boxes  for  Mrs  Hastings  were  sent  her  by  Mrs  Woodman, 
and  contained  "things  from  the  Milliners  and  Mercers," 
according  to  Mr  Woodman.  Important  packages  of  this 
nature  did  not  always  reach  her  safely,  for  towards  the 
end  of  this  year  Mr  Woodman  deplores  the  capture 
by  the  Spanish  fleet  of  the  Royal  George  Indiaman, 
which  carried,  among  other  things,  "  a  very  elegant 
dress"  for  her. 

The  "  most  elegant  chariot "  had  evidently  attracted 
Mrs  Hastings'  attention  in  the  following  quaint  ad- 
vertisement, which  appeared  in  the  '  Bengal  Gazette ' 
of  July  i6th  : — 

"JusT  IMPORTED. 

"A  very  Elegant  Crane  Neck  Coach  made  entirely 
in  the  present  taste,  with  a  genteel  Rutland  Rooff. 
The  pannels  painted  a  pleasing  Laylock  (lilac)  colour, 
with  a  handsome  Gold  Sprig  Mosaic.  Lined  with  a 
supperfine  Cloth,  and  trimmed  with  the  best  Cufoy 
Lace.  Ten  best  polish'd  Plate  Glass's  Ornamented  with 
four  elegant  Oval  Medallions,  enriched  with  mother  of 


54  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Pearl.     Six  Setts  of  Harness  and  Bridels  mounted  with 
Tootinague,1  Bitts  and  Curbs  plated. 

"  Also  a  very  elegant  Charriot  of  the  newest  Fashion, 
painted  Devonshire  Brown  with  a  rich  Gold  Spangled 
Border,  and  Ornamented  with  Flowers  very  highly 
finished  Venetian  Blinds  all  round  and  lined  with  Sup- 
perfine  light  colour'd  Cloth,  the  Carriage  Crane  Necked 
and  the  Harness  all  plated  with  Silver. 

"  For  further  particulars  enquire  of  Mr  Oliphant, 
Coach  Maker." 

Hastings'  comment  shows  that  the  ways  of  advertisers 
were  much  the  same  in  those  days  as  in  ours. 

DR  ROWLAND  JACKSON  was  the  leading  Calcutta 
physician.  From  an  obituary  notice  of  him  in  the 
'  India  Gazette '  of  March  2Qth,  1784,  we  learn  that  he 
had  studied  medicine  and  natural  science  at  most  of 
the  European  universities — at  Paris  he  was  the  friend 
of  Marmontel  and  other  eminent  persons — and  practised 
for  a  time  in  the  West  Indies.  Succeeding  to  an  Irish 
estate,  he  made  himself  much  beloved  by  treating  the 
poor  gratuitously,  but  was  ousted  by  a  law-suit  in  favour 
of  a  nearer  heir.  When  he  applied  to  the  Company  for 
leave  to  go  to  India,  the  doctor  who  examined  him  as 
to  his  qualifications  said  that  their  respective  positions 
ought  to  have  been  reversed.  Laurence  Sulivan  recom- 
mends him  to  Hastings  in  a  letter  dated  November  I5th, 
1777,  as  one  who  has  fallen  from  a  state  of  affluence 
through  no  fault  of  his  own,  and  though  universally 
esteemed,  is  reduced  late  in  life  to  the  disagreeable 
necessity  of  a  residence  in  Bengal.  The  obituary 
dwells  on  his  lofty  spirit  and  impatience  of  patronage, 
his  mild  and  dignified  manners,  and  his  appreciation  of 
art.  He  must  have  offered  a  pleasing  contrast  to  the 
young  assistant-surgeons  to  whose  tender  mercies  Cal- 
cutta was  largely  delivered  over,  "  numbers  of  whom 
are  well  known,  in  this  service,"  writes  Colonel  Ironside, 

1  A  white  metal  of  the  nature  of  zinc.     (Yule  and  Burnell.) 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   II.  55 

"to  have  deserted  from  Indiamen,  or  escaped  from 
sweeping  shops  in  Edinburgh,  and  hearing  lectures, 
(which  they  call  going  to  College),  for  two  and  two- 
pence a  week."  The  Jackson  family  (Mrs  Jackson  was 
a  native  of  Jamaica),  received  Mrs  Fay1  with  great 
kindness  on  her  arrival  in  Calcutta,  and  that  lady 
mentions  that  Dr  Jackson  held  the  appointment  of 
physician  to  the  Company,  and  had  a  large  private 
practice  as  well.  His  eldest  son  was  a  lieutenant  in 
the  army,  and  was  married  to  "a  very  pretty  little 
woman  "  who  had  come  out  with  his  mother. 

NYA  SERAI  (Noaserai  in  the  modern  ordnance  map), 
was  a  peninsula — in  the  rainy  season  an  island — in  the 
Hugli,  on  the  way  to  Suksagar,  and  afforded  a  sheltered 
anchorage  for  vessels  in  stormy  weather,  when  they 
could  reach  it.  Mrs  Hastings  seems  to  have  been  de- 
tained there  by  a  disaster  to  her  boat,  and  to  have  been 
rescued  by  her  husband  in  the  course  of  another  flying 
visit  between  July  20th,  when  he  was  at  Council,  and 
the  date  of  this  letter.  It  is  worth  noticing  that  the 
Feelchehra,  in  which  Hastings  was  to  go  up  the  river 
on  July  I7th,  disappears  after  that  date.  In  subsequent 
letters  he  "  has  no  boat,"  "goes  up  in  an  open  pinnace," 
and  is  making  enquiries  after  a  new  boat  for  his  wife. 
It  seems  clear  that  it  was  the  Feelchehra  which  was 
wrecked  off  Nya  Serai,  when  Hastings  had  left  it  for  his 
wife's  use  after  the  excursion  of  July  I7th.  On  the  2gth 
Sir  John  Day  writes  to  Hastings  that  he  has  heard  of 
Mrs  Hastings  at  Bandel  and  Chandernagor,  as  she 
cruises  up  and  down  the  river  in  the  "  Yatch."  (See 
next  letter.) 

RICHARD  SUMNER  was  one  of  the  civilians  who  ac- 
companied Hastings  to  Benares  in  1781.  In  one  of  his 
letters,  Hastings  mentions  him,  with  Elliot,  Bogle,  Belli, 
and  Sir  John  D'Oyly,  as  having  suffered  for  his  loyalty 
to  him.2 

1  See  supra^  p.  29.  2  Gleig,  II.  328. 


56  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

The  reference  to  the  DAVIDSON  family  illustrates  the 
Governor  -  General's  kindness  of  heart.  Alexander 
Davidson  was  third  member  of  Council  at  Madras  in 
1784,  and  acted  as  Lord  Macartney's  second  in  his 
duel  with  Mr  Sadleir,  the  second  member.  Hastings 
wrote  a  pathetic  letter  to  him  in  January,  1783,  be- 
seeching his  patience  and  consideration  for  the  dying 
Coote.1  CAPTAIN  TIMBREL,  or  Timbrell,  commanded 
an  Indiaman  called  the  True  Briton. 

COOTE  arrived  at  Patna  on  July  2gth,  and  Hastings 
learned  later  that  Francis's  journey  up  the  river  had 
been  undertaken  less  to  recruit  his  health  than  with  the 
view  of  meeting  the  Commander-in-Chief,  who  had  pro- 
mised him  an  interview  when  he  came  near  Calcutta. 
It  was  about  this  time  that  Wheler  received  an  angry 
letter  from  Francis,  declaring  that  he  had  never  con- 
sented to  the  withdrawal  of  their  minutes,  and  asserting 
that  he  had  only  allowed  Hastings  a  free  hand  respecting 
Major  Camac's  expedition  on  condition  that  its  operations 
were  confined  to  the  state  of  Gohad.  Sir  John  Day 
denied  both  allegations,  and  went  to  see  him  at 
Chandernagor  in  the  hope  of  convincing  him.  But 
Francis  had  gone  on  to  meet  Coote — only  to  lose  his 
labour  in  his  turn,  since  the  General,  probably  learning 
the  state  of  affairs,  lingered  at  Monghyr,  thus  averting 
the  promised  interview. 

"THE  LITTLE  MARIAN"  may  have  been  either  Mrs 
Hastings'  god-daughter,  Marian  Impey,  born  July  6th, 
1778,  or  Marian  Brisco,  born  "under  our  roof,"  as 
Hastings  says,  when  Captain  Brisco  was  his  aide-de- 
camp, and  god-daughter  to  both  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings.2 

The  defective  ACT  OF  PARLIAMENT  is  probably  19 
George  III.,  c.  61,  the  makeshift  Act  which  had  been 
passed  early  in  1779,  and  was  renewed  in  1780,  and  again 
in  1781,  continuing  Hastings  in  his  office  for  a  year  at  a 
time,  until  the  home  Government  had  leisure  to  take  the 

1  Gleig,  III.  66.  2  See  infra,  p.  401. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   II.  57 

Company's  charter  thoroughly  in  hand.  Glass,  being 
imported  from  Europe,  was  so  expensive  that  the  author 
of  *  Hartly  House '  tells  us  the  Governor's  house  was 
almost  the  only  one  that  possessed  it. 

CAPTAIN  SANDS,  of  whom  we  shall  hear  more  in  Series 
II.,  was  an  aide-de-camp  frequently  told  off  to  attend 
upon  Mrs  Hastings.  His  wife  was  also  devoted  to  her.1 
Sands  left  the  army  in  1785,  when  he  returned  to  England 
with  Hastings. 

(10.) 

CALCUTTA,  Wednesday,  past  One.     (July  26th.} 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  wrote  to  you  a  Letter  of  One 
Line  last  Night  by  the  Post,  to  tell  you  only  that  I  was 
well.  I  have  since  received  three  from  you,  that  is  to 
say,  One  before  and  Two  after.  I  am  much  pleased  with 
your  Visit  to  Mrs  Sands  for  three  good  Reasons,  and  I 
am  happy  that  the  Bread  proved  so  welcome.  I  wish 
you  would  be  so  good  as  to  leave  off  dreaming,  or  that 
you  would  mend  your  Dreams.  There  :  I  have  answered 
your  Letters,  except  the  P.S.,  which  I  had  almost 
missed. 

Your  Boxes  are  all  arrived  from  the  D.  of  Kingston, 
if  three  are  all.  They  are  safely  lodged  in  the  Room 
where  your  Taylors  work. 

Answer  to  P.S.  .  I  have  seen  "  the  most  elegant  Chariot.'" 
It  is  ill  shaped,  has  a  Patch  in  this  Form  |  |  behind, 

and  a  Crack  all  across.  I  judge  it  to  be  old,  and  vamped ; 
and  besides  I  do  not  like  it. 

Last  Night  I  received  Two  Letters  from  the  Cape,2 
which  I  send  for  your  Entertainment. 

1  See  infra,  p.  164. 

2  Hastings'  usual  correspondent  at  the  Cape  was  the  Dutch  Governor,  the 
Hon.  Joachim  van  Plattenberg. 


58  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Dr  Jackson  apprehends  that  you  have  catched  Cold. 
I  differed  in  Opinion,  and  said  that  your  Complaints 
proceeded  from  Weakness,  and  from  the  Effects  of  the 
foul  Air  of  Nya  Serai,  and  told  him  how  providentially 
I  arrived  to  relieve  you  from  it.  He  desires  that  you 
will  take  the  Bark  in  Decoction,  besides  your  Bark-Beer, 
and  has  given  Directions  for  making  it  in  the  enclosed 
Paper,  which  also  prescribes  an  easy  Cure  for  the  Pain 
in  your  Back.  You  need  not  give  yourself  the  Trouble 
to  study  the  first  Prescription  for  the  same  Purpose, 
because  he  says  you  cannot  have  the  Ingredients  re- 
quired by  it. 

Read  the  Letter  which  I  send  you  from  Mr  Sumner. 
Do  you  remember  an  Invitation  which  I  made  in  your 
Name  to  Mr  Davidson  to  send  his  Children  hither  that 
they  might  take  their  Passage  with  Captain  Timbrel  ? 
Mrs  Davidson,  it  seems,  left  Vizagapatam  with  them  a 
long  Time  ago,  intending  to  sail  to  Madrass.  After  a 
Variety  of  Dangers  and  Difficulties  the  Vessell  on  which 
she  was  a  Passenger  has  been  driven  to  Chittagong. — 
Will  you  write  to  her  ? 

Sir  E.  Coote  left  Lticnow  on  the  6th  of  this  Month, 
and  is  coming  down  as  fast  as  the  Stream  will  bring 
him,  without  stopping. — Is  it  of  Consequence  to  you 
to  know  this  ? 

I  saw  the  little  Marian  the  other  Night,  and  she 
looked  well. 

I  still  persist  in  the  Intention  of  revisiting  you  on 
Friday. — The  Plan  is  to  go  on  Board  with  the  Flood, 
which  will  come  in  about  Two :  and  to  dine  on  the 
Way,  which  will  be  so  much  Time  deducted  from  the 
Journey. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER    III.  59 

I   have  taken  down  the  Glass,  which  is  cracked  and 

m 

flawed  thus    .\"J  and  have  put  up  another  broken  One, 


with   only  one  Crack   like   this 


and   no   Flaw.      It 


will  do  for  this  Act  of  Parliament. 

I  have  just  reckoned  up  the  Number  of  People  that 
have  successively  shared  my  Time  this  Morning  from 
Breakfast  to  One,  and  they  amount  to  Seventeen. — This 
you  know  is  my  Day  of  Privacy. 

Pray  make  my  Compliments  to  your  Companions.  I 
hope  C.  (Captain)  Sands  is  stout 1  again. — Have  I  any 
Thing  more  to  say  to  you  ? — Yes.  Why  do  not  you 
tell  me  in  every  Letter  how  you  are?  What  Word  (or 
News),  else  do  I  look  for  in  them  ? 

I  have  no  bad  News  for  you 

Adieu. 

Your  most  most  affectionate,  W.  H. 

P.S.  .  Mr  Motte  is  to  be  the  Bearer  of  this. 
Pray  take  Care  of  my  Coat. 

LETTER    III. 

Between  the  date  of  this  letter  and  the  preceding  one, 
Hastings  himself  had  suffered  from  the  prevailing  malady. 
One  or  two  references  to  his  illness  will  be  found  in  these 
letters,  but  it  would  have  been  impossible  to  determine 
the  exact  date  save  for  a  letter  of  his  to  Mr  Woodman 
six  months  later,  in  which  he  mentions  that  about  the 
beginning  of  August  he  suffered  from  an  "  epidemic 
disorder,  from  which  scarce  any  person  had  escaped," 

1  At  this  time  stout  always  meant  strong,  as  on  recovering  from  an  illness. 


60  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

and  that  it  prevented  his  holding  any  meeting  of  Council 
for  a  week.  Never  since  1774  had  he  suspended  the 
meetings  on  account  of  ill-health,  and  he  could  have  held 
them  now  had  it  been  absolutely  necessary.  It  is  clear, 
from  the  reference  below  to  Mrs  Hastings'  "  sullenness," 
that  he  had  kept  the  news  of  his  illness  from  her,  lest 
she  should  insist  on  returning  to  Calcutta  to  nurse  him. 
She  has  concluded  her  river  trip,  and  is  making  a  short 
stay  with  Mr  and  Mrs  Ross  at  the  Chinsura  factory, 
sending  the  "Yacht"  to  bring  her  husband  thither  also, 
but  apparently  without  its  sailing-master,  Broad. 

The  MANEGE  would  now  be  called  a  riding -school. 
The  original  use  of  the  word,  as  meaning  horsemanship, 
is  shown  when  in  1797  Hastings  writes  to  Charles  Imhoff 
that  he  has  converted  an  old  barn  at  Daylesford  into  a 
riding  -  house,  and  that  Charlotte  (Mrs  Imhoff)  must 
give  him  lessons  in  the  manege  during  her  approaching 
visit. 

(21.) 

CALCUTTA.     Tuesday  Evening.     (August  %th.) 

MY  DEAR  MARIAN, — I  have  just  dispatched  a  Note 
to  you  in  a  Hurry  to  desire  you  to  send  down  Mr 
Broad,  that  he  might  take  Charge  of  the  great  Yacht, 
which  I  intend  for  my  own  Accommodation. — He  ought 
to  be  in  Calcutta  to-morrow,  or  he  will  be  too  late.  I 
am  not  yet  resolved  whether  I  shall  set  off  on  friday, 
or  early  on  Saturday,  as  the  Tide  will  be  against  me 
after  Council. 

I  received  your  Note  this  Morning  and  thank  God  that 
you  are  well. — I  do  not  care  for  your  being  sullen.  I  had 
rather  you  should  be  so — a  little — on  such  Occasions. — 
I  rode  this  Morning  in  the  Manege  and  have  felt  the 
Fatigue  of  it  all  Day,  so  that  I  intend  to  repeat  it  to- 
morrow for  my  Cure. 


SERIES   I. — LETTER   IV.  6l 

P.P.S.  .  I  send  you  with  this  as  much  Paper  and  Ink 
as  will  last  you  till  next  Monday. 

I  have  no  News,  but  that  I  love  you  dearly,  and  that  is 
none. — As  good  a  one  as  yours. 

Adieu. — I  shall  see  you,  or  fancy  that  I  do,  in  Two 
Hours  more,  for  it  is  almost  Ten. 

Yours  ever  and  ever,  W.  H. 

Tell  Mrs  M.  (Motte)  that  I  rejoice  most  sincerely  to 
hear  that  she  is  getting  well  so  fast. 

Have  you  remembered  Mrs  Davidson  ?  I  hear  Two 
Reports ;  one,  that  she  intended  to  come  immediately 
to  Calcutta ; — the  other,  that  she  was  to  lie  in,  being 
near  her  Time,  at  Chittagong. 

LETTER    IV. 

The  crisis  is  now  close  at  hand.  Disappointed  in  his 
hope  of  meeting  Coote,  Francis  "  suddenly  returned, 
and  on  the  nth  or  i2th  of  this  month  arrived  in  Cal- 
cutta," says  Hastings.  "  I  was  absent  on  a  visit  at 
Chinchura,  and  on  the  Monday  following,  which  was 
the  i4th,  I  also  returned  to  the  Presidency."  The 
present  note  is  written  in  the  evening,  after  his  arrival. 
The  one  piece  of  news  which  has  reached  him,  beyond 
that  of  Francis's  return,  is  an  anticipation  from  Madras 
of  the  contents  of  the  despatches  carried  for  him  by 
the  ships  that  have  arrived  at  that  port  on  their  way 
to  Calcutta.  He  is  not  to  be  superseded,  but  neither 
is  he  to  be  given  the  reality  of  power.  The  old  state 
of  things  is  to  continue.  Francis  and  Wheler,  with 
the  uncertain  Coote,  are  to  make  up  his  Council,  in 
which  his  only  weapon  is  his  casting  vote,  which  is  of 
no  use  unless  he  can  get  one  of  them  on  his  side. 


62  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

That  night  he  sent  the  minute  to  Francis  enclosed  in 
a  note,  "judging  it  unbecoming  to  surprise  him  with 
it  at  the  Council  table." 

The  ships  mentioned  in  the  letter  are  stated  by  the 
'  Bengal  Gazette '  to  have  brought  out  about  twenty 
young  ladies,  some  of  them  irresistibly  handsome.  The 
gentlemen  of  Madras,  all  unconscious  that  Haidar  has 
marched,  and  is  almost  at  their  gates,  are  arranging  to 
entertain  them  at  a  masquerade  as  soon  as  they  have 
recovered  from  the  fatigues  of  their  voyage. 

NORTH  NAYLOR  was  the  Company's  attorney,  who 
had  incurred  the  displeasure  of  the  Supreme  Court  by 
advising  Hastings  and  the  Council  to  resist  their  high- 
handed proceedings  against  the  Rajah  of  Kasijara,  who 
was  not  amenable  to  their  jurisdiction.  The  aid  of 
the  military,  when  requested  by  the  sheriff  to  enforce 
the  writ  of  the  Court,  was  refused,  but  the  sheriff  as- 
sembled a  force  of  his  own,  which  broke  into  the  Rajah's 
house  and  seized  his  goods.  Returning  with  their  spoil, 
the  sheriff's  party  were  met  by  troops  and  taken  into 
custody,  whereupon  the  Court  retaliated  by  granting  a 
rule  to  show  cause  why  an  attachment  should  not  issue 
against  Mr  Naylor  and  the  officer  in  charge  of  the  de- 
tachment. The  latter  was  discreetly  kept  out  of  the 
way  by  his  superiors,  but  the  rule  was  made  absolute 
against  Naylor,  and  on  his  refusal  to  answer  interroga- 
tories, he  was  committed  to  prison  for  contempt.  At 
the  same  time  a  summons  for  trespass  was  issued  against 
the  Governor-General  and  Council,  and  on  their  refusal 
to  plead,  they  were  also  declared  guilty  of  contempt. 
The  deadlock  which  ensued  was  only  terminated  by  the 
abrupt  withdrawal  of  the  plaintiff,  Kasinath  Babu,  in  the 
action  against  the  Rajah,  and  the  consequent  quashing  of 
the  proceedings.  Mr  Beveridge,  from  whose  *  Compre- 
hensive History  of  India '  these  particulars  are  taken, 
says,  of  course,  that  Kasinath  Babu  had  been  bribed  by 
Hastings  to  withdraw  his  suit.  Here  again,  a  study  of 


SERIES    I. — LETTER    IV.  63 

the  Miscellaneous  Correspondence  would  have  been  of 
advantage,  for  in  February,  1784,  Hastings  writes  to 
Wheler  that  Kasinath  is  begging  that  his  business  may 
be  brought  to  a  speedy  conclusion.  He  has  a  claim  on 
both  of  them,  since  he  withdrew  the  case  from  the  Court 
on  Hastings'  promise  that  he  would  see  justice  done  him. 
Naylor's  release  appears  to  have  come  too  late,  for  he 
was  suffering  from  dysentery  induced  by  the  insanitary 
condition  of  the  Calcutta  Gaol. 

BIBBY — also  spelt  Bibbee,  Beebee  and  Beeby — is  the 
Hindustani  bibi,  lady.  The  word  memsahib  had  not  yet 
been  coined,  and  English  ladies  were  called  Bibi,  with 
their  surnames  added,  by  the  natives.  Thus  Mrs  Law 
became  Beebee  Lass. 

(12.) 
CALCUTTA.     Monday  Evening.     (August  i^th.) 

MY  DEAR  MARIAN, — I  did  not  reach  Calcutta  till  be- 
tween Twelve  and  One,  having  had  a  strong  Wind 
against  me,  and  I  was  more  fatigued  and  dispirited  than 
I  ever  was  before  with  a  Voyage  of  that  Length.  I  intend 
to  make  a  second  Trial  of  the  Manege  for  the  Cure  of  my 
Joints,  which  continue  shamefully  stiff  and  cramped. 

I  find  that  Naylor's  Distemper  is  that  for  which  the 
Japan  Rice  is  a  Specific.  I  shall  be  obliged  to  you 
therefore  if  you  will  either  send  me  a  little,  or  tell  me 
where  I  can  get  it. 

I  have  seen  no  Body,  and  heard  nothing.  But  I 
have  a  Letter  from  Madrass,  which  mentions  the  Arrival 
of  the  Company's  Ships  Yorke,  London,  Portland,  and 
Bridgewater. — The  only  news  of  Consequence  is,  that  it 
is  determined  that  I  am  to  remain  as  long  as  I  chuse, 
but  with  the  same  Associates. 

My  compliments  to  Mr  Ross,  and  Bibby  Motte. 

God  bless  you,  my  Marian. — Yours  ever,  W.  H. 


64          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 


LETTER  V. 

If  Hastings  was  desperate,  Francis  was  now  no  less 
so.  His  hopes  of  support  from  England  were  dis- 
appointed, Coote  had  failed  him,  his  illness  had  left 
Hastings  free  to  despatch  the  expedition  he  had  so 
bitterly  opposed,  and  Hastings  had  arraigned  his  con- 
duct publicly  in  terms  which  it  was  impossible  to  pass 
over.  "The  next  day"  (Tuesday,  August  I5th),  "after 
Council,"  says  Hastings,  "  he  desired  me  to  withdraw 
with  him  into  a  private  apartment  of  the  Council-house, 
where,  taking  out  of  his  pocket  a  paper,  he  read  from 
it  a  challenge  in  terms."  Francis  says,  "  I  took  him 
into  a  private  room  and  read  to  him  the  following 
words :  '  Mr  Hastings,  —  I  am  preparing  a  formal 
answer  to  the  paper  you  sent  to  me  last  night.  As 
soon  as  it  can  be  finished,  I  shall  lay  it  before  you. 
But  you  must  be  sensible,  sir,  that  no  answer  I  can 
give  to  the  matter  of  that  paper  can  be  adequate  to 
the  dishonour  done  me  by  the  terms  you  have  made 
use  of.  You  have  left  me  no  alternative  but  to  demand 
personal  satisfaction  of  you  for  the  affronts  you  have 
offered  me.'  As  soon  as  I  had  read  the  preceding 
words  to  Mr  Hastings,  he  said  he  expected  the  demand 
and  was  ready  to  answer  it." 

The  time  fixed  for  the  duel  was  half-past  five  on  the 
Thursday  morning,  the  place  an  old  road  separating 
Hastings'  estate  of  Belvidere  from  the  grounds  of  the 
house  formerly  occupied  by  Barwell.1  Hastings'  second 
was  Colonel  Pearse,  the  Commandant  of  the  Artillery, 
Francis's  Colonel  Watson,  the  Chief  Engineer  of  the 
Presidency,  a  contentious  man,  strongly  opposed  to 
Hastings.  Colonel  Pearse  has  left  a  detailed  account 
of  the  proceedings,  which  brings  out  curiously  the  in- 

1  See  '  Echoes  from  Old  Calcutta,'  chapter  vi.,  in  which  Dr  Busteed  has 
carefully  traced  the  localities  mentioned  in  the  various  accounts. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   V.  65 

experience  of  both  principals  in  affairs  of  the  kind, 
and  the  grim  determination  with  which  Hastings  went 
to  work,  coupled  with  anxiety  to  allow  his  opponent 
fair  play.  Francis  got  into  position  three  times,  and 
then  discovered  that  his  powder  was  damp.  Colonel 
Pearse  supplied  him  with  a  fresh  charge  from  a  car- 
tridge, and  both  duellists  fired.  Francis's  bullet  whizzed 
by  the  Governor- General's  ear  (Colonel  Pearse  does  not 
mention  this  detail),  but  that  fired  by  Hastings  "  took 
place,"  in  the  phraseology  of  the  day.  "  Mine  entered 
his  side  just  below  the  right  shoulder,"  he  says,  "and 
lodged  in  the  opposite  side  under  the  left."  The  wounded 
man  was  carried  on  a  bed,  first,  apparently  to  Belvidere, 
where  "he  had  been  prevailed  on  to  accept  a  room," 
says  Colonel  Pearse,  and  afterwards,  by  his  own  account, 
to  Major  Tolley's  house  close  by,  "after  I  had  suffered 
great  inconvenience  from  being  carried  to  a  wrong  place." 
With  his  usual  consideration  for  his  wife,  Hastings  had 
allowed  her  to  know  nothing  of  what  was  happening. 
Sir  John  and  Lady  Day  were  also  staying  with  the 
Rosses  at  Chinsura,  and  Sir  John  was  chosen  as  the 
best  person  to  break  the  news  to  Mrs  Hastings. 

DR  DANIEL  CAMPBELL,  to  whom  Colonel  Pearse 
alludes  as  "  the  principal "  of  the  two  surgeons,  was 
Surgeon-General  of  the  Presidency.  He  retired  in  1783, 
and  went  home  with  the  Impeys,  "much  regretted,"  says 
the  '  India  Gazette.'  He  was  returning  to  India  in  1785, 
but  died  at  Johanna  on  his  way  out. 

DR  CLEMENT  FRANCIS,  the  Governor-General's  own 
surgeon,  returned  to  England  with  him  in  1785,  and  in 
1786  married  Charlotte,  fourth  daughter  of  Dr  Burney. 
They  lived  at  Aylsham  in  Norfolk,  where  Dr  Francis 
followed  his  profession.  " 'Tis  a  singular  circumstance," 
writes  Fanny  Burney,  "that  the  friend  who  most  loves, 
and  the  enemy  who  most  hates  Mr  Hastings  should  bear 
the  same  name !  "  In  1790,  Dr  Francis  writes  to  Hast- 
ings that  he  and  his  wife  wish  to  call  their  little  girl 

E 


66  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Marian,  "  that  endearing  name  I  have  so  often  had  the 
pleasure  to  hear  you  pronounce  with  evident  happiness 
on  your  Countenance." 

The  following  letter  is  generally  to  be  seen  by  the 
public  at  the  British  Museum,  in  a  glass  case  on  the 
right-hand  side  of  the  inner  room  of  the  Grenville 
Library. 

(13.) 

CALCUTTA,  Thursday  Morning. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  have  desired  Sir  John  Day 
to  inform  you  that  I  have  had  a  Meeting  this  Morning 
with  Mr  Francis,  who  has  received  a  Wound  in  his  Side, 
but  I  hope  not  dangerous.  I  shall  know  the  State  of  it 
presently,  and  will  write  to  you  again.  He  is  at  Bel- 
videre,  and  Drs  Campbell  and  Francis  are  both  gone 
to  attend  him  there. 

I  am  well  and  unhurt. — But  you  must  be  content  to 
hear  this  Good  from  me ;  you  cannot  see  me.  I  cannot 
leave  Calcutta  while  Mr  Francis  is  in  any  Danger.  But 
I  wish  you  to  stay  at  Chinchura.  I  hope  in  a  few  Days 
to  have  the  Pleasure  of  meeting  you  there.  Make  my 
Compliments  to  Mr  Ross ;  but  do  not  mention  what  has 
passed. 

My  Marian,  you  have  occupied  all  my  Thoughts  for 
these  two  Days  past  and  unremittedly. 

Yours  ever,  my  most  beloved,  W.  H. 


LETTER   VI. 

The  following  letter  was  despatched  in  the  evening  of 
the  day  on  which  the  preceding  was  sent. 

A  HARCARRA  (harkara)  was  the  equivalent  of  the  modern 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   VI.  67 

chaprasi,  waiting  near  his  master's  room  in  readiness  to 
carry  messages.  At  the  present  day  the  word  is  more 
often  used  to  mean  a  spy. 

In  the  sentence  respecting  the  hundred  gold  mohurs, 
the  word  may  be  either  "desired"  or  "denied,"  but  is 
more  like  the  latter.  Both  readings  give  an  equally 
good  sense.  It  is  clear  that  Mrs  Hastings,  foreseeing 
trouble  for  her  husband,  wished  him  not  to  be  un- 
provided with  money.  If  the  reading  "  desired "  is 
accepted,  she  gave  him  the  money  at  Chinsura  to 
take  back  to  Calcutta  with  him;  but  this  does  not 
account  for  the  key.  If  we  take  the  reading  "denied," 
the  money  had  been  left  at  Calcutta,  locked  up,  and 
Mrs  Hastings  had  refused  to  allow  her  husband  to  take 
it  with  him  to  Chinsura,  preferring  that  it  should  remain 
ready  in  case  of  need,  but  had  given  him  her  key  when 
he  was  returning,  that  he  might  be  able  to  get  at  it. 
The  sum  was  worth  £172.  ios.,  four  gold  mohurs 
equalling  £6.  i8s. 

The  swelling  of  the  ankles  from  which  Hastings 
suffered  in  consequence  of  influenza  reappears  in  his 
old  age,  again  following  on  an  illness. 

CAPTAIN  JOHN  SCOTT,  afterwards  better  known  as 
Major  Scott  Waring,  had  been  one  of  Hastings'  aides- 
de-camp,  and  was  now  returning  to  duty  with  his  Sepoy 
battalion,  which  was  in  garrison  at  Chanar.  He  had 
left  Calcutta  before  the  end  of  June,  going  up  the 
river,  and  his  first  letter  from  Chanar  is  dated  August 
I4th.  The  letter  from  him  mentioned  in  the  text  is 
not  to  be  found  in  the  Correspondence. 

"  YOUNG  TOUCHET  "  was  Mrs  Motte's  brother  Samuel. 
The  zebra  of  which  he  was  in  charge  is  a  mystery,  for 
the  zebra  is  a  native  of  Africa,  and  he  was  coming 
down  the  river  from  the  heart  of  North  India.  Perhaps 
it  was  a  present  to  Hastings  from  the  menagerie  of 
one  of  the  Indian  princes — which  might  contain  African 
animals  brought  by  Arab  ships  trading  to  Zanzibar — or 


68  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

was  it  a  wild  ass,  which  when  young  is  marked  with 
zebra-like  stripes?  Further  particulars  about  the  lion 
will  be  found  in  Letter  XV. 

(14.) 

Thursday  Evening.     {August  i^th.} 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN, — I  dispatched  a  Letter  to  you 
this  Morning  at  Seven  o'Clock  under  Cover  of  One  to 
Sir  John  Day,  whom  I  desired  to  break  the  Subject  of 
it  to  you,  before  he  delivered  it,  that  you  might  not  be 
alarmed  by  any  sudden  Report  of  what  passed  between 
Mr  Francis  and  me  this  Morning.  I  hope  you  received 
it  before  Dinner,  as  the  Harcarra  had  strict  Injunctions 
to  be  quick ;  and  there  was  no  other  Risk  of  the  Letter 
missing  you,  but  that  of  Sir  John's  having  left  Chinchura 
or  being  out  of  the  Way. 

I  have  now  the  Pleasure  to  tell  you  that  Mr  Francis  is 
in  no  Manner  of  Danger,  the  Ball  having  passed  through 
the  muscular  Part  of  his  Back  just  below  the  Shoulders, 
but  without  penetrating  or  injuring  any  of  the  Bones. — 
As  you  say,  "  Who  knows  what  may  happen ;  who  can 
look  into  the  Seeds  of  Time,"  &c. 

I  have  sent  the  Rice  to  poor  Naylor,  but  I  fear  it  is  too 
late  for  Diet  or  Medicine  to  do  him  Service. — Mr  Motte 
will  return  you  your  Key.  I  have  also  given  him  in 
Charge  the  hundred  Gold  Mohrs  which  you  denied 
(desired  ?)  me  to  carry  with  me.  I  am  obliged  to  stay 
in  Calcutta  at  least  until  Mr  F.  is  known  to  be  free  from 
all  Danger,  lest  my  Absence  should  be  called  a  Flight : 
So  that  I  cannot  join  you  this  Week ;  but  do  not  let  this 
bring  you  to  Calcutta  before  the  Time  that  you  had  fixed 
for  your  Return. — I  am  well,  and  the  Remains  of  the 
Influenza  scarcely  perceptible  about  my  Ancles. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   VII.  6g 

You  do  not  tell  me  how  you  are.  Do  not  presume 
upon  your  good  Appetite,  and  be  abstemious  at  Night. — 
Adieu. 

Your  ever  affectionate  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

Mr  Motte  carries  Compliments. 

Did  I  tell  you  that  I  had  a  Letter  from  Scott,  who 
mentions  his  passing  young  Touchet,  my  Lion,  and 
Zebra,  all  in  perfect  Health. — Pray  tell  Mrs  Motte  so. 

Calcutta  is  horribly  damp,  and  dismal  besides. 


LETTER   VII. 

Naylor  died  the  day  this  letter  was  written,  Friday, 
August  i8th. 

LADY  DAY  was  Benedicta,  daughter  of  Nicholas  Ramus, 
Esq.,  page  to  King  George  III.  There  is  a  beautiful 
portrait  of  her  by  Gainsborough,  of  which  Dr  Busteed 
gives  a  reproduction. 

COLONEL  (Thomas  Deane)  PEARSE  is  of  course 
Hastings'  second.  The  account  of  the  duel  which  he 
sent  afterwards  to  Laurence  Sulivan  was  probably  written 
in  the  first  instance  for  Mrs  Hastings. 

(16.) 

CALCUTTA,  friday  Morning.     (August  iStk.) 

MY  DEAR  MARIAN, — I  have  received  yours. — You  must 
not  be  angry.  Perhaps  it  is  best  that  what  has  passed 
has  passed,  and  it  may  be  productive  of  future  Good. — 
My  Desire  that  you  would  not  leave  Chinchura  proceeded 
only  from  the  Apprehension  lest  by  a  precipitate  Depar- 
ture your  Spirits  might  be  agitated,  and  your  Health 
affected  by  not  chusing  proper  Seasons  and  making  the 


70  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

fit  Preparation  for  the  Voyage. — Do  now  as  you  please. 
You  will  find  me  here  free  both  from  Sickness,  Anxiety, 
and  Trouble  ;  and  if  you  chuse  to  stay  longer  where  you 
are,  you  may  have  the  same  Satisfaction  of  knowing  that 
I  am  so. 

Mr  Francis  continues  well,  and  I  may  pronounce  his 
Cure  certain. — Poor  Naylor  is  dead. — Will  you  let  Sir  J. 
Day  know  that  there  is  no  Occasion  for  his  returning  to 
Town. — I  will  write  to  him  myself. — I  am  sorry  to  hear 
Lady  Day  is  sick ;  my  Compliments  to  her,  to  Bibby 
Motte,  and  Mr  Ross. 

Yours  ever,  W.  H. 

You  are  much  obliged  to  Col1.  .  Pearse. 

LETTER   VIII. 

"  GULL  "  is  another  mystery.  A  reference  to  Letter  II. 
shows  that  Mrs  Hastings'  tailors  worked  in  a  kind  of 
lumber-room,  where  boxes  were  stored,  so  that  the 
allusion  can  hardly  be  to  a  human  being.  A  tentative 
explanation  may  be  offered  with  all  reserve.  Can  "  Gull  " 
be  a  contraction  of  guldum,  a  nightingale  ?  In  1778, 
Colonel  Hannay,  sending  to  Hastings  from  the  borders 
of  Tibet  "  a  labada  of  twelve  fatted  deer,"  sends  also 
"two  nightingales  for  Mrs  Hastings."  If  she  was  known 
to  be  fond  of  birds,  others  would  doubtless  send  them  to 
her  as  presents. 

(2.) 

CALCUTTA,  IQ//Z  Augtist,  Sahtrday  Evening. 

MY  DEAR  MARIAN,  —  I  have  nothing  new  to  write  to 
you  but  what  you  will  find  in  the  enclosed  Letter.  I  now 
wish  your  Return.  Indeed  I  have  all  along  wished  it, 


SERIES    I. — LETTER    IX.  71 

though  for  Reasons  which  I  have  mentioned,  and  for 
others  which  I  have  not,  I  opposed  my  own  Inclinations. 
Sir  John  Day  is  arrived.  I  desire  you  to  make  my  Com- 
pliment to  Mr  Ross,  and  express  to  him  my  Concern  to 
hear  that  he  is  ill.  Adieu,  my  beloved,— I  now  grow 
impatient  to  see  you. 

Your  most  affectionate,  W.  H. 

P.S.  .  Gull  is  come. — I  have  quartered  him  with  your 
Taylors. 

LETTER   IX. 

In  the  interval  between  this  letter  and  the  preceding 
one  much  was  happening.  Francis  had  adopted  an 
attitude  of  irreconcilable  hostility  towards  Hastings,  as 
is  shown  in  the  latter's  letter  to  Laurence  Sulivan  l : — 

"  On  the  same  day  on  which  we  met,  I  sent  Mr  Mark- 
ham,  my  secretary,  to  visit  him,  and  to  intimate  my 
desire  to  see  him  also,  when  he  was  well  enough  to 
receive  me.  A  few  days  after,  Colonel  Watson  came  to 
me  with  a  message  from  Mr  Francis,  to  the  following 
purport : — '  That  Mr  Francis  desired  him  to  express  the 
sense  which  he  had  of  my  attention  to  him  on  the  late 
occasion  of  my  daily  inquiries  after  his  health,  and  of 
the  wish  which  I  had  expressed  to  visit  him,  for  all 
which  he  made  his  acknowledgments ;  that  he  should 
always  behave  to  me  with  every  degree  of  respect,  but 
must  decline  the  offer  of  my  visit  and  every  kind  of 
intercourse  with  me  but  at  the  Council  table,  desiring 
me  to  believe  that  this  resolution  did  not  proceed  from 
any  remains  of  resentment,  but  from  the  consideration 
of  what  he  owed  to  his  own  character.'  To  this  unex- 
pected message  I  returned  a  civil  answer.  I  have  not 

1  Gleig,  II.  307. 


72  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

seen  him  since,  of  course."  They  met  again  at  Council, 
with  awful  civility,  on  September  nth,  the  day  this  letter 
was  written,  and  Coote  was  also  present.  He  had  re- 
turned from  his  tour  with  the  fixed  idea  that  had  he  been 
in  Calcutta  his  presence  would  have  averted  the  duel,1 
and  flattered  himself  that  he  could  still  succeed  as  peace- 
maker where  Sir  John  Day  and  the  ultima  ratio  of  an 
appeal  to  arms  had  failed.  But  there  was  a  new  factor 
in  the  situation,  which  was  destined  to  establish  Hastings' 
position  in  a  much  more  satisfactory  way — the  gradual 
defection  of  Wheler  from  Francis.  "  Ned  Silent,"  as  the 
*  Bengal  Gazette '  calls  him,  had  been  bullied  and  led  by 
the  nose  long  enough,  and  the  revelation  of  Francis's  bad 
faith  which  preceded  the  duel  seems  to  have  inspired  him 
with  the  determination  to  break  away.  His  support  of 
Francis  became  more  and  more  perfunctory,  and  he 
displayed  a  disposition  to  accept  Hastings'  hospitality 
which  Francis  notes  in  his  diary  with  savage  scorn. 

In  the  meantime  the  Governor-General's  action  in  con- 
cluding the  Gohad  treaty  had  been  signally  justified. 
While  the  Council  were  debating,  Captain  Popham,  in 
command  of  the  composite  body  of  troops  intended 
originally  to  reinforce  Goddard,  but  diverted  to  the  assist- 
ance of  the  Rana,  was  acting.  He  cleared  Gohad  of  the 
Marathas,  though  unprovided  with  cavalry,  and  took  the 
important  fort  of  Lahar  by  assault,  because  he  had  no 
heavy  artillery  with  which  to  batter  it  into  submission.  It 
was  in  this  success  that  Cornet  Gardiner,  Hastings'  cousin, 
was  killed  when  leading  the  forlorn  hope.  But  Popham's 
greatest  success  was  still  to  come.  On  August  4th  a  storm- 
ing-party  of  his  troops,  commanded  by  Captain  Bruce, 
brother  of  the  Abyssinian  traveller,  escaladed  and  cap- 
tured the  world-renowned  fortress  of  Gwalior — "  the  key 
of  Indostan,"  as  Hastings  calls  it.  "  Its  effect  is  not 
to  be  described,"  he  says,  in  describing  the  capture. 
"  Other  congratulations  which  I  have  received  on  the 

1  '  The  Francis  Papers.' 


SERIES    I. — LETTER    IX.  73 

many  important  successes  of  our  arms  were  but  coldly 
offered,  but  scarcely  a  man  mentions  this  without  en- 
thusiasm." Scott  at  Chanar  heard  the  news  on  the  i/j-th, 
and  wrote  at  once  to  congratulate  Hastings,  but  it  did 
not  reach  Calcutta  until  late  at  night  on  the  22nd.1 
Coupled  with  Goddard's  continued  successes  in  Gujarat, 
the  capture  of  Gwalior  raised  the  liveliest  hopes  for  an 
early  and  favourable  termination  of  the  Maratha  War. 

It  is  evident  from  this  letter  that  Mrs  Hastings  was 
still  enjoying  her  holiday  on  the  river,  fearing,  apparently, 
a  fresh  attack  of  influenza  if  she  returned  to  the  damp 
heat  of  Calcutta.  Her  husband  had  paid  her  another 
flying  visit,  and  seems  to  have  escorted  her  part  of  the 
way  to  Suksagar,  where  Mrs  Sands  was  to  have  spent  a 
week  with  her,  but  was  prevented  by  the  illness  of 
Captain  Sands. 

(30.) 

CALCUTTA,     nth  September. — Monday  Night. 

MY  DEAR  MARIAN, — I  am  very  uneasy,  and  not  quite 
pleased  with  myself,  for  having  left  you  alone  on  the 
River  in  this  gloomy  season,  and  blowing  Weather. 
Mrs  Sands,  as  you  will  see  by  the  accompanying  Note 
from  her,  is  prevented  by  her  Husband's  Sickness  from 
joining  you,  and  of  course  you  will  remain  without 
Company  the  whole  Week,  unless  you  will  return  for 
it. — Let  me  entreat  you  to  return. — I  would  fly  to  you 
if  I  could  Possibly  leave  Calcutta,  and  to  you  the  River 
will  prove  of  equal  Benefit,  whether  you  sail  with  the 
Flood,  or  with  the  Ebb. 

Dr  Jackson  desired  to  consider  your  Case,  and  has 
promised  his  Opinion  upon  it  to-morrow.  I  hope  by  that 
Time  to  hear  that  you  stand  in  no  Need  of  his  Advice. 

1  'Bengal  Gazette.' 


74  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Let  me  have  an  Answer  immediately,  but  I  beg  you 
will  not  Stay. 

I  arrived  here  this  Morning  fast  asleep. 

Yours  ever,  my  dearest.  W.  H. 

LETTER   X. 

Mrs  Hastings  had,  after  all,  found  companions  for  her 
trip  to  Suksagar,  probably  Mr  and  Mrs  Motte,  to  whose 
house  at  Hugli  she  had  now  returned.  Tired  of  the 
yacht  and  bereft  of  the  Feelchehra,  she  has  disregarded 
the  stormy  weather,  and  gone  out  in  a  rowing-boat,  and 
her  husband,  while  reproving  her  rashness,  gently  chaffs 
her  on  her  broken  English  and  the  French  idiom  she 
uses. 

EVANS  was  a  civil  servant,  who  reappears  at  intervals 
in  the  Correspondence.  He  built  himself  a  garden-house 
on  the  banks  of  the  river,  whither  Sir  John  Shore  (Lord 
Teignmouth),  when  Governor-General,  used  to  retire  for 
change  of  air.  His  marriage  was  unhappy,  and  he  con- 
fides his  troubles  to  Hastings.  When  he  returned  to 
England,  he  lost  his  money,  and  in  1805  was  obliged  to 
go  back  to  India.  The  Abergavenny,  in  which  he  and  his 
daughter  Emily  sailed,  was  wrecked,  but  they  were  saved, 
and  kindly  received  and  entertained  by  their  relatives,  the 
D'Oylys,  at  Garden  Reach.  Emily  Evans,  of  whose 
"mild  unaffected  manners"  Sir  John  D'Oyly  writes,  was 
drowned  with  her  husband  in  the  loss  of  the  Calcutta  in 
1809. 

(250 
CALCUTTA.     Tuesday  Night.     (Sept.  igfA.) 

MY  DEAR  MARIAN, — I  am  just  favored  with  your 
Letter  dated  this  Morning,  and  thank  you  for  it.  It 
has  made  me  happy  by  the  Information  which  it  has 
afforded  me  that  you  have  not  suffered  by  your  late 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   X.  75 

Deviation  from  your  Plan  of  Regularity. — I  have  a  good 
Opinion  of  the  Discretion  of  your  Companions — and  of 
yours,  my  Marian — but  I  own  I  am  not  pleased  with 
your  venturing  on  the  Water  at  this  Season  in  a  small 
Boat,  and  I  make  it  my  Request  that  you  will  not  repeat 
it.  I  have  made  Enquiries  after  a  Pinnace,  but  hitherto 
without  Success.  I  will  certainly  get  One  for  you,  and  a 
good  One ;  I  hope,  in  a  few  Days.  You  may  then  trive 
about  the  River  as  much  as  you  please  and  neither  of  Us 
be  a  Loser  by  it. — Yes,  very  hot,  and  so  it  has  been 
to  Day. — I  had  something  else  to  say  to  you  but  have 
forgot  it. 

I  send  you  a  Paper  of  News. 

I  have  slept  monstrously  since  I  left  you,  which  is  a 
Shame. 

May  God  bless  you,  my  Love,  and  grant  you  a 
daily  Encrease  of  Health  and  Strength. — Your  ever 
affectionate  W.  H. 

P.S.  .  Evans  has  been  puzzling  me  with  a  puzzling 
Message  from  Motte,  whom  you  have  puzzled  by  telling 
him  that  you  should  come  away  on  Monday  next,  I 
having  before  told  him  that  you  would  send  for  your 
Pots,  Pans,  Spits  and  Gridirons,  and  take  Possession  of 
his  House.  He  had  fixed  on  Thursday  for  his  Departure, 
and  now  does  not  know  whether  to  go  or  to  stay  till 
you  go.  I  have  referred  him  to  you,  saying  (which  is 
not  always  true)  that  no  Body  knows  a  Lady's  Mind 
so  well  as  herself,  but  that  I  supposed,  if  you  did  come 
to  Calcutta  on  Monday,  you  would  again  return  to 
Hugly  some  Days  after. 


76 


CHAPTER    II. 

SEPTEMBER  TO  DECEMBER,  1780. 
The  Carnatic  Disaster. 

BETWEEN  the  dates  of  this  letter  (No.  XI.)  and  the 
preceding,  the  long  dreaded  blow  had  fallen.  On  June 
12th1  the  Bengal  Council  had  sent  assurances  to  the 
Nizam  that  the  Madras  force  should  be  withdrawn  from 
the  Gantur  Circar,  and  orders  to  the  Madras  Committee 
to  withdraw  it.  No  answer  was  received,  but  Hastings' 
attention  was  for  the  moment  distracted  by  a  nearer 
danger.  The  Berar  army  was  massed  on  the  Bengal 
frontier,  under  the  command  of  Mudaji's  son  Chamnaji, 
attended  by  hordes  of  Pindari  freebooters,  who  might 
be  let  loose  at  any  moment.  In  his  letters,  however, 
Mudaji  still  protested  his  desire  for  a  British  alliance, 
declaring  that  only  the  pressure  brought  to  bear  on  him 
by  the  Nizam  and  the  Maratha  Regents  had  induced  him 
to  mobilise.  He  had  no  intention  of  invading  Bengal, 
but  his  resources  would  soon  be  exhausted,  and  he  must 
set  his  troops  free  to  plunder  unless  some  help  could  be 
given  him  in  paying  them.  At  this  critical  moment  Sir 
Eyre  Coote,  fresh  from  his  up-country  tour,  reappeared 
at  Calcutta,  burning  with  military  ardour,  and  anxious 
to  launch  his  troops  against  the  Berar  army.2  With 
infinite  difficulty,  Hastings  persuaded  him  of  the  impolicy 
of  turning  a  would-be  friend  into  another  active  enemy, 

1  Hastings  to  Laurence  Sulivan,  Gleig,  II.  316.  2  Ibid.,  319. 


SERIES    I. — THE    CARNATIC    DISASTER.  77 

and  obtained  his  consent  to  less  heroic  measures.  Three 
lakhs  of  rupees,  borrowed  by  Hastings  in  his  own  name 
— probably  the  first  three  lakhs  obtained  from  Rajah 
Nobkissen — were  sent  to  Chamnaji,  with  the  promise 
of  more  when  his  troops  were  either  recalled  or  ordered 
to  join  the  English.1  The  expedient  was  successful,  and 
the  safety  of  Bengal  secured  for  the  time.  The  import- 
ance of  this  diplomatic  triumph  could  only  be  realised 
when  news  was  at  length  received  from  Madras. 

The  Madras  Committee  had  continued  their  wilful 
course,  and  in  order  to  obtain  a  majority  for  their 
policy  of  disregarding  the  orders  from  Bengal,  raised 
their  Commander-in-Chief,  Sir  Hector  Munro,  to  a  seat 
in  Council,  keeping  him  at  Madras  when  he  should 
have  been  looking  to  the  frontier  defences.  Even  when 
Haidar  poured  his  100,000  men  through  the  unguarded 
passes  of  the  Ghauts,  they  wished  to  detain  Munro,  and 
send  Lord  Macleod,  a  newly  arrived  King's  officer,  to 
oppose  the  enemy.  Finding  that  the  Madras  army  was 
altogether  destitute  of 'equipment,  supplies  and  transport, 
he  declined  the  responsibility,  though  willing  to  march 
under  Munro's  orders  with  his  own  Highland  regiment. 
That  he  had  little  hope  of  a  successful  resistance  may  be 
gathered  from  his  blunt  remark,  "  I  have  been  a  great 
many  years  in  the  service,  and  I  have  always  observed, 
that  when  you  despise  your  enemy,  he  generally  gives  you 

a  d d  rap  over  the  knuckles."  2     Still  the  discussions 

continued,  the  Madras  gentlemen,  in  the  words  of  a 
contemporary,  resembling  the  Greeks  when  Constanti- 
nople was  threatened  by  the  Barbarians,  in  forgetting 
that  they  had  any  enemies  but  each  other.3  It  was  not 
until  July  24th,  when  Haidar's  advanced  guard  appeared 
at  St  Thomas's  Mount,  nine  miles  from  their  gates,  that 
they  were  roused  to  action.  Munro  was  at  length  de- 
spatched to  Conjeveram  (Kanchipuram),  where  Haidar 

1  Gleig,  II.  327.  2  'Life  of  Sir  D.  Baird.'    Jj..J«rrQld       'Ifl     // 

3  «  Memoirs  of  the  War  in  Asia.' 


78  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

was  supposed  to  be  present  in  force,  and  Colonel  Baillie, 
whose  troops  had  been  occupying  the  disputed  Gantur 
Circar,  was  ordered  to  effect  a  junction  with  him  there. 

The  miserable  story  of  what  followed  is  well  known 
— how  Haidar  prevented  the  junction  of  the  two  forces, 
and  engaged  Baillie  in  a  hopeless  struggle  on  the  banks 
of  the  Pollilore  Nullah,  while  Munro  fidgeted  in  disastrous 
indecision  before  the  Pagoda  of  Conjeveram,  regardless 
of  the  entreaties  of  his  officers.  The  annihilation  of 
Baillie's  force,  the  disgraceful  panic  which  seized  Munro, 
his  hurried  retreat  upon  Madras,  after  destroying  his  guns 
and  ammunition,  the  pursuit  by  the  triumphant  cavalry 
of  Mysore — all  these  things  are  written  on  the  blackest 
page  of  British  South  Indian  history.  The  inhabitants 
of  Madras  put  on  mourning,  Munro  was  hooted  in  the 
streets,  there  was  a  hurried  exodus  of  all  who  could 
afford  it,  Haidar  drew  a  circle  of  desolation  round  the 
city,  and  the  Committee  sent  frantic  demands  to  Bengal 
for  men,  money,  stores  and  provisions.  The  news  reached 
Hastings  late  at  night  on  Friday,  September  22nd,  the 
despatches  being  carried  by  Stephen  Sulivan,  a  Madras 
civil  servant  and  son  of  the  Chairman  of  the  Court  of 
Directors,  who  with  his  wife  had  obtained  a  passage  on 
the  man-of-war  Nymph. 

The  Governor-General  had  foreseen  that  in  consequence 
of  the  attitude  of  the  Madras  Committee,  an  invasion  by 
Haidar  must  come,  but  he  had  not  anticipated  the  compli- 
cation of  misfortunes  brought  about  by  Baillie's  disaster 
and  the  cowardice  of  Munro.  The  event  demanded  a 
sudden  abandonment  of  his  most  cherished  plans,  and  a 
rearrangement  of  the  whole  political  scheme.  Refusing 
to  hold  a  meeting  of  Council  under  the  immediate  influ- 
ence of  the  panic  of  the  moment,  he  secured  tw9  precious 
days  in  which  to  mature  his  plans.  Two  preliminary 
steps,  however,  he  took  at  once,  laying  an  embargo  on 
all  the  shipping  in  the  river,  with  directions  to  be  ready  to 
proceed  to  Madras  in  five  days,  and  ordering  fifteen  lakhs 


SERIES    I. — THE    CARNATIC   DISASTER.  79 

of  the  treasure  stored  in  Fort  William  in  case  of  emerg- 
ency to  be  packed  for  transport.1  On  the  Monday — the 
Saturday  and  Sunday  were  probably  passed  at  Hugli  with 
Mrs  Hastings — he  met  the  Council  with  definite  proposals 
already  formulated.  Hostilities  with  the  Marathas  were 
to  cease,  and  an  alliance  to  be  entered  into  with  them 
against  Haidar,  the  fifteen  lakhs  were  to  be  sent  forthwith 
to  Madras,  together  with  a  large  detachment  of  European 
infantry  and  artillery,  and  the  conduct  of  the  opera- 
tions in  the  Carnatic  was  to  be  entrusted  to  Sir  Eyre 
Coote.  The  terms  in  which  this  request  was  made  were 
such  as  could  not  fail  to  stimulate  the  gallant  old 
soldier  to  the  task,  and  he  accepted  it  with  an  alacrity 
equally  honourable  to  himself  and  to  Hastings.  The 
only  dissentient  voice  was,  of  course,  that  of  Francis, 
who  declared  that  "  neither  soldier  nor  rupee  should  be 
sent  to  the  Carnatic,  for  that  that  country  was  irrecover- 
ably lost,  and  that  every  soldier,  and  every  rupee,  sent 
there,  would  be  uselessly  expended." 2  The  alternative 
he  preferred  was  to  concentrate  all  the  available  forces 
and  stand  a  siege  in  Fort  William  itself,  until  help  could 
arrive  from  England.3  Hastings'  reply  is  worth  record- 
ing : — "  While  I  have  a  soldier,  or  a  rupee,  I  will  never 
abandon  the  Carnatic ;  for  if  we  do  not  fight  Hyder  Ally 
in  that  country,  we  shall  have  to  fight  him  here."  4  His 
determination  prevailed,  and  orders  were  issued  for  the 
despatch  of  the  troops  and  treasure,  though  this  was 
delayed  for  three  weeks  by  the  condition  of  the  ships 
requisitioned  to  carry  them,  which,  as  Captain  Nutt  of 
the  Duke  of  Kingston,  supported  by  his  fellows  of  the 
Walpole,  Fox,  and  True  Briton,  pointed  out,  were  all 
unrigged  and  had  hardly  any  water  on  board.5 

1  'Bengal  Gazette.'  2  Nicholls.  3  Grand. 

4  Nicholls,  quoting  from  Hastings'  minute.  5  '  Bengal  Gazette.' 


80          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 


LETTER   XI. 

This  letter  and  the  five  which  follow  it  are  without 
any  date  save  the  day  of  the  week,  and  the  difficulty 
of  ascertaining  exactly  when  they  were  written  is 
enhanced  by  the  absence  of  any  mention  of  public 
events.  Mrs  Hastings  was  probably  kept  acquainted 
with  these  either  by  the  aide-de-camp  who  carried  the 
letter,  or  by  a  printed  "  paper  of  news  "  sent  with  it  when 
it  was  brought  by  a  native  messenger.  The  course  of 
events  seems  to  have  been  that  Hastings,  tied  to  Calcutta 
by  pressure  of  work,  was  anxiously  expecting  the  return 
of  his  wife  from  her  stay  at  Hugli,  but  that  circumstances 
— probably  a  sharp  attack  of  illness  on  her  part,  and  the 
extreme  unhealthiness  of  the  season  l — obliged  her  to 
postpone  it  until  Christmas,  their  separation  being 
broken  only  by  one  or  two  hurried  visits  from  him. 
On  this  view,  the  two  days  passed  at  Hugli,  mentioned 
in  the  present  letter,  were  September  23rd  and  24th, 
when  Hastings  was  preparing  his  plans  for  the  Carnatic 
expedition. 

CAPTAIN  WILLIAM  PALMER  was  an  honest  soldier  and 
faithful  servant.  Hastings  writes  of  "the  candour  of 
Palmer's  mind,  and  the  unsuspecting  honesty  and  gen- 
erosity of  his  heart,"  and  speaks  of  him  to  Laurence 
Sulivan  as  "  a  man  in  whom  I  have  an  uncommon 
reliance."  In  1777  he  held  the  double  post  of  military 
and  private  secretary,2  but  on  Elliot's  return  from  Europe 
he  became  military  secretary  merely,  holding  the  appoint- 
ment until  1782,  when  he  was  sent  as  envoy  to  Lucknow. 
He  had  already  been  entrusted  with  the  conduct  of  the 
negociations  with  the  Rana  of  Gohad,  and  had  been 

1  In  June  there  had  been  "the  hottest  weather  ever  known"   (Francis), 
while  at  the  end  of  September  the  rains  were  still  so  heavy  and  continuous 
that  the  roads  were  almost  impassable,  and  old  houses  were  falling  ('Bengal 
Gazette  ')• 

2  Grand. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XI.  8l 

despatched  also  on  a  mission  to  the  Nawab  of  Arcot, 
but  was  shipwrecked  on  the  way  to  Madras,  and  obliged 
to  return  to  Calcutta.  After  his  patron  left  India  he 
became  British  Resident  with  Sindhia,  and  afterwards 
at  Poonah,  and  in  his  old  age  was  in  command  of  the 
troops  at  Barhampur.  He  kept  up  a  regular  correspond- 
ence with  Hastings  on  all  sorts  of  social,  military,  and 
political  subjects. 

Poor  MR  MOTTE'S  perplexities  appear  to  have  been 
manifold  —  between  his  desire  to  be  polite  to  Mrs 
Hastings  and  the  demands  of  his  business.  He  was 
at  the  present  moment  in  pecuniary  difficulties,  and  his 
house  in  Calcutta  is  advertised  for  sale  on  October  3rd. 
If  Mrs  Hastings  intended  to  make  a  stay  at  Hugli,  he 
could  leave  her  without  difficulty  to  the  care  of  his  wife, 
but  if  she  was  returning  to  Calcutta,  he  must  wait  and 
escort  her  down. 

(19.) 

CALCUTTA.     Wednesday  Evening.     (Sept.  27 1&.) 

MY  DEAR  MARIAN, — Captain  Palmer  brought  me  your 
Letter  of  yesterday  this  Morning.  It  is  the  first  that 
I  have  received  from  you  since  I  parted  from  you. — I 
am  satisfied  however  with  knowing  that  you  were  well 
yesterday. 

I  will  take  Care  of  your  Things. 

Captain  Palmer  tells  me  that  Motte  waits  for  your 
Determination  to  form  his  own,  that  if  you  stay  he  will 
go  away  to-morrow,  but  that  if  you  return,  he  will  remain 
till  then,  and  leave  Hugly  at  the  same  Time  with  you. 
He  adds  that  you  seemed  inclined  to  come  away  at  the 
End  of  the  Week. — I  own,  I  wish  it ;  but  whatever 
Plan  you  fix  on,  pray  let  me  know  it. 

Though  I  shall  have  more  of  your  Company  in  Cal- 
cutta than  I  could  even  in  the  two  Days  that  I  could 

F 


82  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

spare  at  Hugly,  yet  I  wish  to  see  you  here  chiefly  from 
the  Persuasion  that  the  Change  will  be  of  Service  to 
you ;  for  I  am  not  convinced  that  there  is  any  real 
Difference  between  the  Two  Places  in  Respect  to  Air. 
— It  is  true  I  am  neither  well,  nor  in  Spirits  here,  nor 
have  been  since  we  parted  first ;  and  I  have  had  as 
much  as  I  have  a  Right  to  of  both  in  the  few  Days 
that  I  passed  at  Hugly ;  but  I  can  account  for  this 
without  having  Recourse  to  the  Climate.  The  Exercise 
in  going  has  been  of  Service  to  me,  and  the  Fatigue 
(for  it  is  very  fatiguing),  in  returning  has  constantly 
disagreed  with  me.  Now  as  our  Constitutions  differ, 
and  you  may  recollect  that  you  suffered  by  your  Journey 
to  Hugly,  you  may  probably  receive  some  Benefit  from 
the  Voyage  back. 

Do  not,  however,  be  guided  by  what  I  write,  but 
consult  your  own  Judgement,  and  if  that  is  neuter, 
your  Inclinations. 

Adieu.  I  shall  wait  your  Answer  to  this  very  im- 
patiently. 

I  am  ever  more  than  words  can  express  your  affec- 
tionate W.  H. 

LETTER   XII. 

This  letter  seems  to  have  been  written  the  same  day 
as  the  last,  but  later  in  the  evening,  after  Hastings  had 
received  a  letter  written  by  his  wife  in  the  morning. 
It  does  not  appear  whether  "Mrs  Vernett's  budgerow " 
was  unavailable  owing  to  absence  from  the  settlement, 
or  slow  on  account  of  age  and  disrepair. 

MAJOR  MORGAN  was  James,  brother  of  Frederick 
Morgan,  commandant  of  Fort  William  and  a  firm 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XII.  83 

supporter  of  Hastings.  In  the  following  year  James 
Morgan  is  found  commanding  the  troops  at  Cawnpore. 
Perhaps  the  "  two  good  budgerows "  were  prepared  for 
his  voyage  thither. 

If  the  postscript  of  this  letter  was  calculated  to  puzzle 
Mrs  Hastings,  how  much  more  puzzling  must  it  be  to 
us  a  hundred  and  twenty  years  later !  The  only  ex- 
planation that  can  be  hazarded  is  that  Miss  T. — 
Mrs  Motte's  sister,  Sally  Touchet — had  been  making 
a  drawing  of  the  statue  of  Cupid  which,  as  the  '  Bengal 
Gazette '  informs  us,  stood  in  Hugli  Gardens,  but  whether 
the  picture  was  intended  as  a  present  for  Hastings,  or 
was  connected  with  a  love-affair  of  the  young  lady's  own, 
remains  a  mystery. 

Mr  Motte's  want  of  warmth  towards  his  charming  wife 
evidently  prejudiced  him  in  the  eyes  of  her  friends,  and 
injured  him  with  her.  His  side  of  the  case  will  be  found 
presented  in  the  Concluding  Chapter. 

(170 

Wednesday  Evening.     (Sept.  27 th.} 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN,  —  I  have  just  received  your 
Letter  of  this  Morning,  and  read  it  with  infinite 
Pleasure,  a  little  abated  towards  the  Conclusion  by  the 
Proposal  of  coming  down  in  Mrs  Vernett's  Budgerow. 
It  will  not  be  at  Hugly  these  3  Weeks. — I  will  send 
you  one  immediately. — Could  not  you  get  one  at 
Chinchura?  I  wish  you  would  enquire,  for  I  am  now 
out  of  all  Patience  to  see  you  in  Calcutta.  If  you  set 
out  on  Friday,  I  will  try  to  meet  you. — I  was  pretty 
easy  about  you  till  I  received  your  Letter,  and  I  think 
I  am  almost  unhappy.  Pray  get  a  good  Budgerow 
where  you  are  if  you  can. — I  have  written  to  borrow 
one  of  Major  Morgan,  and  shall  keep  this  open  for  his 
Answer. 


84          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

Wrap  yourself  in  Shawls,  and  keep  the  Wind  as 
much  as  you  can  from  you  if  this  Weather  continues, 
when  you  come  down.  You  will  find  it  very  comfort- 
able to  breakfast  on  board,  and  if  you  put  off  at  Seven 
you  will  be  home  by  Dinner,  or  sooner. 

Major  Morgan  has  just  been  with  me.  He  will  send 
you  two  good  Budgerows  of  fourteen  Oars.  He  says 
he  will  dispatch  them  to  Night,  and  they  will  arrive 
at  the  latest  by  to  morrow  Night. 

I  have  given  a  Book  of  Motte's  to  the  Charge  of 
your  Harcarra.  Pray  return  it  to  his  Book  Case. 

May  God  bless  you,  and  restore  you  safe,  and  in 
Health  to  me,  and  as  glad — or  but  half  as  glad — to  see 
your  Husband  as  he  will  be  to  regain  the  Possession 
of  his  Marian.  W.  H. 

I  don't  like  the  Symptom  of  the  Head.  It  looks 
cold. — Could  not  you  loose  the  little  Fellow's  String, 
and  prevail  upon  Miss  T.  to  add  a  Feather  or  two  to 
his  Wings.  Her  Crow  Quills  will  do  admirably  for 
them,  but  not  till  he  has  spoken. 

My  Horse  is  come,  but  I  have  not  half  the  Impatience 
to  see  him,  as  I  feel  for  your  Arrival. — There  is  a 
Lover!  I  wish  Motte  had  as  much  of  the  Warmth  of 
One;  but  he  is  in  the  Right  to  think  a  little. 

I  have  written  much  Nonsense,  but  it  shall  go  to 
puzzle  you.  I  believe  People  are  most  apt  to  be 
foolish  when  they  are  pleased. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XIII.  85 


LETTER  XIII. 

It  has  now  been  decided  that  Mrs  Hastings  is  to 
remain  at  Hugli  for  the  present,  and  her  husband, 
deprived  of  the  prospect  of  her  return,  and  overwhelmed 
with  the  labour  of  despatching  the  Carnatic  expedition, 
gives  himself  up  to  melancholy.  The  same  tone  of  com- 
plaint is  found  in  the  early  letters  of  Series  III.,  when 
she  had  sailed  for  England,  but  in  general  he  contrives  to 
keep  his  public  worries  from  depressing  him  in  private. 
The  warning  against  too  much  intercourse  with  her 
Dutch  friends  probably  springs  from  the  negociations 
which  he  was  carrying  on  at  the  time  with  the  Nether- 
lands East  India  Company  for  the  hire  of  twelve  hundred 
of  their  European  soldiers  for  use  in  the  Carnatic.1  The 
proposal  was  bitterly  resisted,  and  the  Madras  Committee, 
even  as  reconstituted  after  the  suspension  of  Whitehill, 
on  Hastings'  authority,  by  Sir  Eyre  Coote,  refused  assent 
to  it.  In  view  of  the  extreme  smallness  of  Coote's  force, 
it  seems  that  the  suggested  reinforcement  might  have 
enabled  him  to  extend  his  operations  and  bring  the  war 
to  a  successful  close.  However,  the  Dutch,  with  their 
usual  propensity  for  haggling,  scorned  the  liberal  terms 
offered,  which  included  the  cession  of  a  large  amount  of 
territory,  and  let  the  matter  drag  on  until  it  was  closed 
by  the  outbreak  of  war  between  England  and  Holland. 

COFFREES  (from  kafir)  were  negro  slaves.2 

(4-) 

CALCUTTA,  Thursday  Evening.     (Oct.  $th.) 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  wrote  an  Answer  to  your 
Letter  this  Morning  and  said  in  it  too  rashly  that  I 
would  make  you  another  Visit  on  Saturday :  but  wait- 
ing to  answer  Mr  Motte's  I  have  had  Time  to  recollect 

1  Gleig,  II.  356.  2  Yule  and  Burnell. 


86  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

that  I  cannot  go. — I  have,  therefore,  destroyed  my 
Letter. — I  have  no  boat.  I  hate  to  borrow.  I  have  a 
thousand  Things  to  do,  and  I  am  sadly  out  of  Spirits, 
having  been  all  Day  tormented  with  a  Head  Ache. — 
This,  it  is  true,  is  no  Reason  for  my  staying  at  home 
two  Days  hence ;  but  perhaps  it  may  have  its  Influence 
in  disposing  me  to  confine  my  ill  Humors  to  myself. — 
Yet  I  would  give  more  than  a  Rupee  that  you  were 
with  me,  for  I  miss  you  most  grievously. — Do,  then,  my 
beloved,  excuse  me.  I  will  not  go,  because  I  cannot. 

I  am  not  quite  pleased  with  your  Piece  of  News. — 
M.  (Motte)  is  right. 

I  am  glad  that  you  resolve  to  accept  no  more  Invita- 
tions. Mrs  Ross  is  too  good  not  to  approve  your  Reasons, 
and  if  you  visit  nobody,  nobody  will  be  displeased. 

I  am  this  instant  agreeably  interrupted  with  a  Letter 
from  you,  though  not  so  well  pleased  in  reading  it. — I 
am  afraid  Hugly  is  not  a  bit  better  than  Calcutta.  I 
thank  you  for  your  good  Advice.  The  Weather  should 
be  no  Obstacle  to  me,  if  I  had  no  other. — What  Two 
Books  ?  I  sent  you  only  one,  which  I  stole  from  Motte's 
Library. 

I  will  bespeak  the  two  Coffrees. 

I  have  received  a  Letter  from  Motte,  who  tells  me 
he  stays  till  Monday,  and  adds  many  other  Things, 
which  you,  you — (I  won't  call  Names  on  Paper) — have 
put  into  his  Head. — This  has  added  to  my  Regret  that 
I  cannot  see  you  as  I  intended,  and  him  before  he 
goes. — I  cannot  help  it. 

The  Hurcarra  left  the  Garden  Seeds  at  Hugly.  He 
says  he  had  Second  Orders  to  leave  them.  Is  it  true  ? 
because  I  have  threatened  to  punish  him  if  it  is  not. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XIV.  87 

This  Letter  will  not  add  to  your  Spirits,  for  it  bears 
the  Symptoms  of  the  total  Want  of  Mine.  Adieu,  my 
dearest  Wife.  Yours  ever,  W.  H. 


LETTER   XIV. 

For  once  Hastings  has  been  remiss  in  his  attentions 
to  his  wife,  and  has  allowed  some  time  to  pass  without 
seeing  her.  This  neglect  is  aggravated  by  the  fact  that 
she  has  been  ill,  and  in  the  letter  conveying  the  news 
of  her  recovery  she  has  acquainted  him  with  her  feeling 
on  the  subject.  He  does  not  even  trouble  to  defend 
himself,  for  he  is  as  happy  in  the  prospect  of  seeing 
her  the  next  day  as  a  schoolboy  in  an  unexpected  holi- 
day. The  parallel  instantly  suggests  itself  of  the  iron- 
hearted  John  Lawrence,  in  the  severest  crisis  of  the 
Mutiny,  snatching  a  day  off  to  run  up  to  Murree  and 
see  his  wife.  Hastings'  route  on  this  occasion  would 
be  by  road  to  Barnagur  (Baranagar),  then  by  water  to 
Palta  Ghat,  and  thence  by  the  road  following  the  course 
of  the  river  to  Hugli. 

The  Governor-General's  mind  has  been  occupied  with 
the  departure  of  Sir  Eyre  Coote  and  his  troops.  They 
embarked  on  October  I4th,  "with  great  cheerfulness,"  says 
the  '  Bengal  Gazette,'  but  were  detained  in  the  river  by 
contrary  winds  until  the  23rd,  while  Francis  and  the 
paper  just  mentioned  improved  the  occasion  by  declar- 
ing that  the  troops  were  sickly  and  the  ships  unsea- 
worthy.  So  late  as  October  28th,  when  the  fleet  was 
well  on  its  way  to  Madras,  the  '  Bengal  Gazette '  asserted 
that  it  was  still  lying  at  Kalpi,  too  deeply  laden  to  pro- 
ceed to  sea,  and  that  the  Duke  of  Kingston,  with  the  Gen- 
eral and  the  treasure  on  board,  was  aground.  Hastings 
has  been  down  the  river  to  inspect  the  ships  and  en- 
courage the  troops  under  their  enforced  detention,  and 


88          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

on  his  voyage  has  seen  the  alligator  which  is  to  keep 
Mrs  Hastings  from  going  to  the  seaside  in  future. 

BEERCOOL  was  the  sanatorium  —  the  Brighton  —  of 
Calcutta,  and  the  newspapers  and  Council  records 
mention  constantly  that  So-and-so  is  "  gone  to  Beer- 
cool  for  his  health."  Coursing,  deer-stalking,  hunting, 
and  fishing  are  mentioned  as  being  obtainable  in  the 
neighbourhood,  and  in  May  of  this  year  the  *  Bengal 
Gazette'  gives  publicity  to  a  scheme  for  developing  the 
place,  quite  in  the  modern  style.  It  has  already  the 
advantage  of  a  beach  which  provides  perhaps  the  best 
road  in  the  world  for  carriages,  and  is  totally  free  from 
all  noxious  animals  except  crabs,  and  there  is  a  pro- 
posal to  erect  convenient  apartments  for  the  reception 
of  the  nobility  and  gentry,  and  organise  entertainments. 
The  scheme  appears  to  have  been  only  partially  carried 
out,  for  in  1796  Charles  Chapman  writes : — 

"  We  passed  part  of  the  last  Hot  Season  at  Beercool, 
to  which  place,  I  believe,  you  and  Mrs  Hastings  once 
projected  an  Excursion.  The  Terrace  of  the  Bungalo, 
intended  for  you,  is  still  pointed  out  by  the  People,  but 
that  is  all  that  remains  of  it.  The  Beach  is  certainly 
the  finest  in  the  World,  and  the  Air  such  as  to  pre- 
clude any  Inconvenience  being  felt  from  the  Heat.  Mrs 
Chapman  found  the  Bathing  agree  with  her  so  well, 
that  if  here  and  alive  next  year,  we  shall  make  another 
Trip." 

BALASORE  was  further  off,  quite  out  of  the  river,  and 
was  often  the  goal  when  a  short  sea-voyage  was  ordered 
for  an  invalid. 

A  MUSSALL  was  a  torch.  The  word  should  more 
properly  be  Mussalljee,  torch-bearer.  These  function- 
aries attended  all  Europeans  at  night,  as  much  as  a  mark 
of  rank  as  for  use.  In  1813,  General  Palmer,  commenting 
on  the  increase  of  frugality  among  the  junior  officers, 
mentions  that  many  of  them  walk  or  ride  in  the  dark 
without  a  Mussal  or  Lantern. 


SERIES   I. — LETTER  XIV.  89 

(6.) 

CALCUTTA.     Thursday  Night.     (Oct.  19^.) 

MY  MARIAN, — You  are  really  angry,  almost  cross.  But 
I  forgive  you,  because  you  give  me  News  of  the  Amend- 
ment of  your  Health,  too  good  to  allow  me  to  be  angry 
too,  and  because  I  am  too  much  pleased  with  the  Thought 
of  seeing  you  to-morrow  to  allow  me  to  be  angry  with  any 
One. 

I  go  up  in  an  open  Pinnace. 

Your  Horse  is  well. — I  hope  Mr  Motte  has  Horses  left, 
or  you  ( — for  I  recollect  yours  are  at  Hugly — )  to  furnish 
two  Stages  for  me ;  for  I  dreadfully  dislike  the  Road,  and 
fear  that  I  shall  not  reach  Hugly  till  you  are  all  fast 
asleep. — My  Plan  is  this. — I  go  from  Council  into  my 
Chariot  at  Two.  I  shall  be  at  Barnagur  before  3. — There 
my  Pinnace  waits  for  me. — Sir  John  accompanies  me. — 
What  Time  I  shall  reach  the  Carriage  I  cannot  tell; 
perhaps  at  Six ;  perhaps  at  Twelve.  But  be  it  at  what 
Hour  it  will  I  must  go  on,  and  I  beg  of  you  to  contrive 
that  I  may  not  disturb  the  Family,  when  I  enter  Mr 
Motte's  House. — How  that  is  to  be  managed  God,  and 
you,  best  know.  I  am  sure  I  shall  break  your  Rest  more 
by  not  coming  at  all,  than  by  coming  late. 

My  Marian,  I  saw  an  Alligator  yesterday  with  a  Mouth 
as  large  as  a  Budgerow,  and  was  told  that  it  was  of  a  Sort 
which  is  very  common  about  Balesore,  but  this  not  so 
large. — I  shall  never  consent  to  your  going  again  to  Beer- 
cool.  Adieu,  my  beloved.  A  sound  and  sweet  Sleep  be 
your  Portion  for  this  Night.  I  will  be  your  Nurse  to 
morrow  Night.  W.  H. 

You  must  place  two  Pair  of  Horses  for  me,  one  at  the 


90  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

landing  Place,  and  a  Mussall  to  shew  me  where  it  is ; — 
the  other  Pair  at  the  Half  Way.  Remember  the  Mussall, 
that  I  may  know  where  to  land. 


LETTER   XV. 

It  seems  that  duty  had  again  detained  Hastings  unduly 
in  Calcutta.  The  preoccupation  of  the  moment  was  the 
despatch  of  Colonel  Pearse's  force,  consisting  of  one 
company  of  artillery  and  six  battalions  of  Sepoys,  which 
was  to  march  to  the  Carnatic  by  way  of  Cuttack,1  where 
it  was  to  be  joined  by  a  detachment  of  the  Berar  cav- 
alry two  thousand  strong.  The  force  was  intended  to 
strengthen  Coote,  the  route  was  deliberately  chosen 
with  the  view  of  enhancing  British  prestige. 

BEAUTY  was  one  of  Mrs  Hastings'  Arab  horses,  the 
others  being  Solyman  and  Solima  or  Selima,  mentioned 
in  Letter  XIX.  He  was  left  in  Thompson's  care  when 
Hastings  returned  to  England,  and  Thompson  sends 
news  of  his  death  soon  afterwards.  "  He  was  buried 
with  funereal  Honours,"  he  says,  "  to  the  Eastward  of 
the  high  House  and  a  Tree  planted  over  his  Grave. — 
I  dare  yet  indulge  the  Hope  that  his  honored  Mistress 
may  one  Time  or  other  set  beneath  its  Shade,  and 
manifest  something  of  her  own  Excellencies  by  shed- 
ding a  Tear  to  the  grateful  Remembrance  of  his." 

SCOTT  is,  of  course,  Captain  John  Scott,  who  had  come 
to  the  resolution  of  going  home  when  he  found  himself 
doomed  to  garrison  work  at  Chanar,  where  his  active 
spirit  was  sorely  cramped.  The  health  of  his  wife  and 
little  girl  was  suffering  from  the  climate,  and  he  had 
amassed  a  moderate  fortune.  On  September  7th,  writing 
from  Chanar,  he  offers  himself  as  Hastings'  agent  and 
representative  in  England,  to  guard  his  interest  and 

1  Gleig,  II.  326. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XV.  QI 

reputation  against  the  malicious  attacks  made  on  him  in 
and  out  of  Parliament,  and  Hastings  accepted  the  sugges- 
tion, little  guessing  what  harm  Scott's  injudicious  zeal 
was  to  do  him  in  the  future.1  It  is  interesting  to  notice 
that  it  was  Scott  who  originated  the  famous  motto  Mens 
aequa  in  arduis,  which  was  suggested  to  him  by  the  well- 
known  line  of  Horace.  Lord  Mansfield  approved  it 
enthusiastically,  and  it  was  adopted  by  Hastings. 

The  mention  of  MRS  SCOTT  offers  some  difficulty.  The 
present  writer,  with  the  kind  assistance  of  the  Rev.  Canon 
Oldfield,  a  descendant  of  Scott's  brother  Richard,  has 
bestowed  a  good  deal  of  labour  on  ascertaining  the  true 
facts  respecting  John  Scott's  three  marriages.  The 
authorities — the  '  Dictionary  of  National  Biography,' 
'Scott  of  Scott's  Hall,'  and  Burke's  'Landed  Gentry,' 
are  hopelessly  at  variance  as  to  the  order  in  which  he 
married  Maria  Hughes  of  Cashel  and  Elizabeth  Blackrie 
of  Bromley,  and  which  of  them  was  the  mother  of  his 
four  elder  children,  while  the  evidence  for  the  third 
marriage  (with  Mrs  Esten,  an  actress),  seemed  to  be 
solely  a  note  by  the  editor  of  the  '  Correspondence  of 
Charles,  First  Marquis  Cornwallis,"  and  an  epigram 
which  he  quotes.  The  second  point  is  settled  by  letters 
in  the  Hastings  Correspondence  for  1810,  mentioning 
that  the  bond  for  £7000,  which  Hastings  gave  Scott  in 
1795  as  part  of  the  sum  owed  him,  had  been  assigned  by 
him  to  his  wife  Mrs  Eliza  Scott  Waring  and  her  children, 
these  children  being  Edward  Warren  Hastings,  Charles, 
Anna  Maria  (who  married  John  Reade  of  Ipsden  House, 
Oxon,  and  became  the  mother  of  the  novelist  Charles 
Reade,  dying  at  the  age  of  ninety  in  1863),  and  Eliza 
Sophia  (who  married  the  Rev.  G.  S.  Faber,  and  became 
the  mother  of  the  theologian  and  hymn-writer).  Mrs 
Elizabeth  Scott  died  in  1796,  when  her  husband  erected 
an  elaborate  monument  to  her  memory,  to  the  covert 
amusement  of  his  friends.  "  In  Bromley  Churchyard," 

i  See  infra,  p.  438. 


92          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

writes  Thompson,  "  there  is  a  long  tedious  Essay  by  the 
Uxorious  Scott  Waring  upon  his  departed  Wife,"  which 
Thompson  suggests  was  prompted  by  gratitude  for  having 
lost  her.  Through  the  kind  interest  of  friends,  and  the 
assistance  of  the  verger  of  the  church,  the  present 
writer  has  been  able  to  obtain  a  copy  of  this  curious 
inscription : — 

"Beneath  this  Stone 

are  interred  the  Mortal  remains  of  ELIZABETH  SCOTT, 
Wife  of  MAJOR  JOHN  SCOTT  of  this  Parish.  She  was  born 
on  the  igth  April,  1746,  and  died  on  the  26th  October, 
1796,  in  the  fifty-first  year  of  her  age.  Though  afflicted 
for  several  years  with  the  disorder  which  put  a  period  to 
her  life,  She  had  for  Many  Months  past  been  Unusually 
well  and  Cheerful.  On  Friday  the  2ist  October,  While 
setting  with  her  husband  and  two  of  her  Children  at 
Dinner,  She  was  Suddenly  taken  ill.  The  pain  which 
she  suffered  was  as  Violent  As  it  was  soon  expected 
(?  unexpected). — She  bore  it  with  exemplary  fortitude 
And  Christian  Resignation,  And  was  in  the  full  possession 
of  her  faculties  Almost  to  the  last  hour  of  her  existence. 
After  taking  a  Most  Solemn  and  affecting  leave  of  her 
husband  and  her  children,  After  giving  her  directions  and 
expressing  her  wishes  on  every  point  that  had  relation 
to  her  worldly  Concerns ;  Remembering  at  that  aweful 
Moment  The  poor  and  Needy,  To  whom  she  had  ever 
been  a  Generous  benefactress ;  After  expressing  her 
humble  Though  Confident  hope  Of  A  blessed  Immor- 
tality ;  She  resigned  her  soul  To  the  Will  of  her  Creator 
and  expired :  without  a  pang,  or  Sigh,  on  the  fifth  day  of 
her  illness.  In  a  World  where  None  are  faultless,  per- 
fection is  sought  in  Vain,  but  her  Virtues  were  Many, 
useful  and  Active.  She  was  a  faithful  and  affectionate 
Wife,  A  Careful  and  tender  Mother,  A  humane  and 
Charitable  woman.  Her  failings,  Whatever  they  were, 
Affected  herself  alone. 

Semel  Calcanda  Via  Leti." 


SERIES    I. — LETTER  XV.  93 

These  particulars  make  it  clear  that  the  Mrs  Scott  of 
the  letter  was  Elizabeth  Blackrie,  and  THEIR  DAUGHTER 
—the  "  Lizzy"  of  Scott  and  Hastings'  letters  —  Eliza 
Sophia. 

Scott's  next  matrimonial  experiment  must  have  been 
made  almost  immediately  on  his  first  wife's  death,  for 
in  1813  his  son  John  Thurlow  was  sixteen.  In  1803 
there  is  a  letter  to  Hastings  from  Mrs  (Mary)  Scott 
Waring,  appealing  for  his  support  against  the  accusations 
of  her  husband  and  the  treatment  she  receives  from  his 
children.  Unless  Scott  was  four  times  married,  this  lady 
must  have  been  the  Maria  Hughes  whom  the  D.N.B. 
places  first  in  order,  and  the  print  of  "  Mrs  Scott  Waring 
and  Children,"  engraved  by  C.  Turner  in  1804  from  the 
painting  by  J.  Russell,  R.A.,  must  represent  her.  Her 
children,  who  are  ignored  in  most  of  the  genealogies, 
were  the  John  just  mentioned,  and  Augusta  Hastings, 
who  was  Hastings'  god-daughter.  Another  daughter, 
Anne,  whom  Scott,  in  writing  to  Hastings  in  1813, 
mentions  as  living  with  him  (Anna  Maria  had  been 
married  at  least  eight  years),  may  have  been  a  child 
of  the  first  wife.  In  February,  1812,  as  we  learn  from 
a  letter  of  Sir  Charles  Hastings',  Mrs  Scott  Waring 
was  found  dead  at  the  foot  of  the  stairs,  apparently 
unregretted.  The  '  Gentleman's  Magazine '  announces 
decorously  that  she  died  "  of  an  apoplectic  fit." 
Under  the  date  of  October  i5th  in  the  same  year, 
we  find  the  further  announcement  among  the  Mar- 
riages, "  Major  Scott  Waring,  of  Peterborough  House, 
to  Mrs  Esten,  formerly  of  Covent  Garden  Theatre" 
— a  union  which  caused  much  amusement  to  the  wits 
of  the  town."  l 

The  "  LYON  "  was  that  brought  down  from  the  upper 
provinces  by  young  Touchet  in  August.  A  venomous 
paragraph  in  the  '  Bengal  Gazette '  thus  connects  it  with 
the  departure  of  Colonel  Pearse,  who  had  incautiously 

1  For  further  particulars  see  the  Concluding  Chapter. 


94          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

included,  in  a  series  of  twenty-three  questions  which  his 
anxiety  for  perfect  clearness  in  his  instructions  led  him 
to  address  to  Hastings,  one  enquiring  what  course  he 
was  to  pursue  "if  by  any  fortunate  event  Hyder  Ally 
or  his  sons  should  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  detach- 
ment":— 

"  From  the  known  VALOUR  and  great  MARTIAL 
ABILITIES  of  Colonel  who  commands  the  detach- 
ment under  marching  Orders  for  the  Coast,  we  may 
shortly  expect  to  see  HYDER  in  Chains,  a  Companion 

to  the  Lyon  in  the  G 's  Compound  at  Buckingham 

House.  N.B.  The  Cage  is  preparing." 

This  letter  emphasizes  the  curious  fact  that  Mrs 
Hastings  still  retained  the  house — identified  as  No.  7, 
Hastings  Street  1 — in  which  she  had  lived  before  her 
marriage,  and  that  her  husband  also  occupied  it  when 
she  was  in  Calcutta,  reserving  Government  (or  Buck- 
ingham) House  as  bachelor  quarters  and  for  official 
entertainments.  Large  gatherings,  such  as  those  for 
Christmas  and  the  King's  Birthday,  were  held  at  the 
Old  Courthouse,  and  private  parties  at  Mrs  Hastings' 
house.  Francis's  tool,  Macintosh,  prints  a  card  of 
invitation  he  received  to  a  concert  there.2 

(3.) 

CALCUTTA,  friday  Night.     (Dec.  8//fc.) 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  have  received  your  angry 
Letter,  but  thank  you  for  it  notwithstanding. — A  Pity 
indeed !  —  I  wrote  to  you  last  Night,  and  I  have  sent 
away  your  Beauty  to  you  this  Morning.  Poor  Fellow, 
it  will  be  a  Kindness  to  him  as  well  as  to  yourself — 
and  to  me  too,  if  you  will  be  content  to  walk  him  till 
you  are  both  a  little  stronger. — To  morrow  I  will  Send 
you  your  Gun. — I  am  just  returned  from  a  visit  to  Mrs 

1  Malleson.  2  '  Travels  in  Europe,  Asia,'  &c. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XVI.  95 

Scott. — Scott   is   arrived   also,    and    their  l   daughter,   a 
beautiful  Child. 

Mr  Irwin  breakfasted  with  me,  and  appeared  in  such 
Spirits  that  I  ventured  to  make  Enquiry  about  his  Wife, 
which  I  told  him  was  on  your  Account,  and  I  believe 
you  will  rejoice  to  hear  that  she  has  been  three  Days 
visibly  mending,  and  by  his  Account,  out  of  Danger. 
I  have  migrated  to  my  own  House ;  but  the  Lyon 
roars  so  noisily,  that,  suspecting  that  he  might  disturb 
my  Rest,  I  am  returned  to  our  Bed  for  the  Night. — 
Noisily  is  not  the  proper  Term. — The  Sound  is  like  the 
scraping  of  fifty  great  Kettles. — I  am  well. — As  I  am 
persuaded  that  your  Health  depends  on  yourself,  I  do 
beseech  you  to  be  well  too.  Adieu.  Yours  ever, 

W.  H. 

LETTER  XVI. 

The  ships  alluded  to  in  this  letter  as  having  parted 
with  their  pilots  were  in  all  probability  the  Fox,  Grafton, 
Walpole,  and  True  Briton,  which  sailed  on  December  3rd. 
In  the  last  of  these  would  be  the  Davidson  children  (see 
Letter  II.),  under  the  care  of  Captain  Timbrell,  in  the 
first  Francis  was  a  passenger,  having  at  length  given  up 
the  attempt  to  cope  with  Hastings  in  India,  though  their 
"  war  of  minutes  "  continued  to  the  last.  In  his  six  years 
of  office  he  had  amassed  a  fortune  variously  estimated  at 
from  £80,000  to  £150,000,  of  which  £20,000  was  gained 
in  one  night  from  Barwell  at  whist,  and  with  his  future 
thus  provided  for,  he  was  at  liberty  to  think  of  revenge. 
Reaching  England  while  Hastings  was  still  at  his  post, 
he  would  gain  the  advantage  proverbially  enjoyed  by  the 

1  Dr  Busteed  reads  "your,"  which  is  absolutely  impossible.  Hastings 
constantly  uses  the  contraction  "  yr."  for  their,  as  he  does  "  ym.  "  for  them. 


96          LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

present  over  the  absent,  and  could  also  urge  his  own 
claims  to  succeed  him,  which  had  been  so  unaccountably 
overlooked  by  those  in  power.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  he 
was  disappointed  in  his  reception,  and  was  forced  to 
remain  to  a  great  extent  in  the  background,  providing 
and  pointing  the  shafts  of  Burke,  but  it  was  largely  the 
knowledge  of  his  intentions  that  led  Hastings  to  depute 
Scott  to  represent  him  at  home,  and  deal  with  the 
slanders  as  they  arose. 

The  "  HOLYDAYS  "  here  mentioned  must  be  the  Christ- 
mas Holidays,  as  the  native  holidays — sometimes  called 
simply  "the  holidays" — began  about  December  5th,  with 
the  festival  of  Durga  Puja. 

It  appears  that  Hastings  had  after  all  been  obliged  to 
have  a  new  Feelchehra  built,  and  that  Captain  Sands 
wished  to  borrow  it  before  it  was  finished.  Mrs  Hastings 
also  had  alterations  to  propose,  as  the  next  letter  shows, 
but  he  would  allow  nothing  to  interfere  with  the  com- 
pletion of  the  boat. 

(8.) 

CALCUTTA.      Wednesday  Evening.     (Dec.  i$th.) 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  was  greatly  out  of  Spirits, 
and  of  Health,  when  I  wrote  to  you  last  Night.  I  am 
to  Day  almost  well,  and  shall  be  quite  to  morrow.  My 
Sickness  is  no  more  than  a  Cold,  but  it  is  teazing,  and 
is  much  to  me  who  am  not  accustomed  to  severer  Com- 
plaints, and  hate  to  have  any. — Yours  alone,  my  Marian, 
are  too  much  for  me  to  bear. 

I  forgot  last  Night  to  tell  you  that  the  Ships  all  parted 
with  their  Pilots  on  Friday  Evening,  and  were  going  on 
with  a  brisk  and  fair  Wind.  You  are  glad  of  this. 

I  have  not  thanked  you  for  your  Cheese.  I  thank  you. 
There  was  just  enough  for  Two  Dinners. — Do  not  be  lazy. 
The  Morning  Air,  I  mean  the  Breeze  which  the  rising  Sun 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XVI.  97 

sets  in  Motion,  will  do  you  more  good  than  all  the  rest  of 
the  Day ;  and  remember  the  Persian  Proverb,  which  says 
that  the  Air  of  Paradise  passes  between  a  Horse's  Ears  to 
the  Rider  that  does  not  take  too  much  of  it,  nor  expose 
herself  to  the  Heat  of  the  Sun. — I  hear  that  you  rode 
yesterday  in  the  Evening.  I  suppose  you  only  mounted 
Beauty  to  try  him ;  for  that  is  not  the  Time  of  Day  for 
such  an  Exercise. 

Everybody  tells  me  that  you  improve  in  Strength, 
which  is  more  than  Health,  daily.  I  am  happy,  and 
therefore  less  regret  your  Absence,  yet  it  has  been  a  long 
One,  and  I  fear  it  will  be  yet  very  much  longer,  for  I  see 
no  Possibility  of  my  returning,  and  I  do  not  wish  to  see 
you  here,  before  the  Holydays. — Scott  certainly  goes,  and 
with  special  Dispatches  from  me,  which  will  oblige  me  to 
make  the  most  Use  of  my  Time  to  prepare  them.  For 
this  Purpose  I  think  of  locking  myself  up  for  2  or  3  Days 
next  Week  at  Allipoor. 

I  have  not  heard  from  you  to  Day,  and  am  very  uneasy 
about  it.  I  have  told  you  that  Three  Words  will  satisfy 
me. — Say  but,  "  I  am  well." — If  you  cannot  write  these 
with  Truth,  yet  let  me  know  it  if  you  are  not  well. 

Will  you  let  C.  (Captain)  Sands  know  that  on  Enquiry 
I  found  the  Feelcherra  was  not  yet  in  the  Workmen's 
Hands,  but  that  the  Vernish  was  prepared,  and  that  they 
are  to  lay  it  on  to  morrow  Morning,  so  that  I  could  not 
have  spared  the  Boat  without  an  entire  Loss  of  this 
Interval  to  complete  it. 

Pray  make  my  Compliments. 

Adieu,  my  beloved.     Your  most  affectionate     W.  H. 

Motte  has  received  a  Letter  of  News,  not  very  new, 

G 


98  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

which  I  suppose  he  has  sent  to  Mrs  Motte, — whom 
God  bless. — Pray  tell  her  that  these  Words  were  dictated 
by  Inspiration.  Adieu  again,  my  best  and  dearest. 


LETTER  XVII. 

MRS  SAMSON  appears  to  have  been  a  sister  of  Mrs 
Sands,  for  in  1803  Hastings  writes  to  Sir  John  D'Oyly, 
"  We  expect  Mrs  Sands  and  Mrs  Sampson  at  Daylesford 
on  Saturday."  She  was  still  living  in  1814.  Her 
husband,  Captain  Samson  or  Sampson,  commanded  the 
Duke  of  Grafton,  in  which  Hastings  sailed  for  India  in 
1769,  and  on  board  which  he  met  the  Imhoffs.  Captain 
Samson  was  evidently  in  charge  of  the  Company's  ship- 
building yard  at  Calcutta,  and  thus  had  the  honour  of 
superintending  the  construction  of  the  new  Feelchehra. 
The  boat  was  to  go  to  Hugli  to  fetch  Mrs  Hastings,  and 
while  Captain  Samson  vetoed  her  suggested  alterations 
because  they  would  interfere  with  the  elaborate  decora- 
tion (the  fil-chehra,  elephant's  head),  at  the  prow,  her 
impatient  husband  sided  with  him  because  they  would 
take  so  long  to  effect  that  her  return  would  be  delayed. 

MR  WHELER,  the  "Ned  Silent"  of  the  'Bengal 
Gazette,'  was  originally,  if  the  voice  of  scandal  is  to  be 
credited,  "a  linen-draper  in  Cheapside."  He  came  out 
as  Member  of  Council  professing  neutrality,  but  his  home 
connections  drew  him  naturally  to  the  side  of  Francis. 
Although  on  landing,  in  December,  1777,  he  assured 
Elliot,  as  Hastings'  ambassador,  of  his  impartiality,  he 
followed  up  the  assurance  with  a  piece  of  rudeness  which 
made  it  clear  that  Francis  had  secured  his  adhesion. 
He  had  asked  that  carriages  should  be  sent  to  Baj-baj  to 
convey  his  family  and  himself  to  Calcutta,  and  Hastings 
and  Harwell  both  despatched  their  chariots  thither,  only 
to  learn  that  without  taking  any  notice  of  the  courtesy, 


Painted  by  R.  Pine.  Engraved  by  W.  Dickinson. 

MRS    IMHOFF    AND    CHILD. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XVII.  gg 

he  had  continued  his  journey  in  the  "yacht,"  leaving  the 
carriages  to  wait  four  days  for  him.1  Thereafter,  with 
great  docility,  he  said  "ditto  to  Mr  Francis"  on  all 
occasions,  until  the  rupture  of  their  alliance  sketched  in 
the  notes  to  Letter  IX.  His  first  wife,  whom  Dr  Busteed 
states,  on  the  authority  of  her  tombstone,  to  have  been 
Harriet  Chichely  Plowden,  is  mentioned  by  Francis  as 
having  astounded  all  the  Calcutta  ladies  by  the  size  of 
her  hoop  at  the  ball  given  in  her  honour  on  her  arrival. 
She  died  only  seven  months  after  landing.  His  second 
marriage  is  thus  announced  in  the  '  India  Gazette '  for 
December  23rd :  "  Married  on  Saturday  last  by  the  Rev. 
Mr  Johnson,  Edward  Wheler,  Esq.,  to  Miss  Durnford." 
Mrs  Fay,  who  speaks  of  "  passing  a  day  with  Mrs  W.  at 
the  Gardens,"  describes  her  as  "  meek,  affable,  and  sym- 
pathetic." In  1784,  Hastings,  writing  to  Wheler  on  his 
illness,  says,  "  God  will  bless  Mrs  Wheler  for  her  success- 
ful Care  and  affectionate  Attention.  This  is  not  a  new 
Trait  of  her  Character.  I  esteem  and  respect  her  for 
that  and  her  many  other  domestic  virtues." 

NEW  YEAR'S  DAY  was  an  occasion  for  high  feasting. 
The  first  two  weekly  numbers  of  the  *  Bengal  Gazette ' 
for  1781  are  missing  in  the  British  Museum  copy,  so 
that  there  is  no  account  of  its  celebration,  but  the 
Christmas  festivities,  which  were  very  similar,  are  thus 
described :  "  A  breakfast  was  given  by  the  Hon'ble  the 
Governor-General  at  the  Court  house,  and  at  noon  a 
most  sumptuous  dinner  at  which  there  were  present 
many  persons  of  distinction.  .  .  The  evening  concluded 
with  a  ball,  cheer'd  and  enlivened  by  the  grand  illumina- 
tion and  an  excellent  band  of  Music."  We  learn  also 
that  "  the  Dinner  and  supper  blended  all  the  profusion 
and  variety  of  a  Lord  Mayor's  Feast,  with  the  superb 
elegance  of  the  Royal  entertainments  at  St  James's." 
The  term  "  dressed  suit "  was  used  of  both  male  and 
female  attire,  and  implies  what  we  should  call  full  dress. 

1  Francis. 


100  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

SOOKSAUGUR,  "  in  the  Hoogly  River,  above  Chinchura," 
was  a  very  favourite  resort  of  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  and 
their  more  intimate  friends.  "  The  original  house,"  says 
Colesworthy  Grant,  in  his  'Rural  Life  in  Bengal,'  "was 
built  by  Warren  Hastings  as  a  country  residence  for  him- 
self and  three  other  civilians,  and  for  the  purpose  of  their 
having  an  English  farm  where  experiments  in  the  growth 
of  coffee  and  other  productions  of  that  nature  could  be 
tried."  Forbes,  in  his  '  Oriental  Researches,'  says  that  it 
was  "an  elegant  house  of  European  architecture,  highly 
finished,  and  the  grounds  disposed  with  great  taste." 

CHARLES  CROFTES  was  Accountant  -  General  of  the 
Presidency,  and  one  of  Mrs  Hastings'  Indian  trustees,  Mr 
Motte  being  the  other.  He  seems  to  have  been  a  good- 
natured,  well-meaning  man,  more  of  a  success  socially 
than  professionally,  and  was  one  of  Hastings'  associates 
in  forming  the  experimental  plantation  at  Suksagar.  In 
1784  he  was  engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  muslins,1 
and  became  bankrupt  the  following  year.  Enfeebled  by 
paralysis  and  assailed  by  his  creditors  as  he  was,  he 
was  given  the  chiefship  at  Chittagong,  where  Sir  William 
and  Lady  Jones  stayed  with  him,  and  where  he  died  in 
1786. 

(28.) 

CALCUTTA.     17 'th  December.— Sunday : 

MY  MARIAN, — I  have  received  your  Second  Letter. — 
Have  you  had  mine  ? — I  now  send  you  the  Gun  which  I 
promised.  I  think  you  will  be  pleased  with  it  because 
it  is  fine.  As  to  its  intrinsic  Qualities  I  know  nothing  of 
them. — If  you  use  it,  let  me  beg  of  you  to  let  Somebody 
charge  it  who  understands  it,  and  not  to  go  into  the  Sun. — 
I  repeat  these  as  my  earnest  Requests. 

I  saw  Mrs  Samson  this  Morning.     She  was  well,  and 

1  See  infra,  p.  194. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XVII.  IOI 

charged  me  with  many  kind  Things  to  say  to  you. — I 
don't  remember  them,  but  they  were  in  Character,  and 
you  will  guess  them. 

I  saw  Mr  Wheler  and  Miss  D.  (Durnford)  married  last 
Night.  How  it  agreed  with  them  I  know  not,  but  it  has 
given  me  a  Cold  and  Sore  throat. — God  bless  them. — 
Would  it  not  be  kind — civil  at  least,  if  you  were  to  write 
a  short  Letter  to  her — expressing  your  Satisfaction,  &c., 
and  Regret  that  you  were  not  Present  ?  I  did  this  for 
you,  and  she  said  it  was  a  Pity. 

I  cannot  alter  your  Boat.  Captain  Samson  says  that 
it  will  be  impossible  to  lower  the  Seat  without  unripping 
all  the  Stern  Sheets,  which,  you  will  clearly  understand, 
would  play  the  Deuce  with  the  Feelcherra,  besides  that 
it  could  not  be  done  in  Six  Weeks. — I  have  therefore  told 
him  to  varnish  the  Legs,  and  fits  (fix?)  the  Carpet  to  the 
Floor. — I  went  on  Purpose  to  shew  him  how  you  would 
have  it  done. 

As  you  are  in  Possession  of  the  Table  of  Sooksaugur,  I 
wish  you  would  manage  so  as  to  keep  it  when  Croftes 
returns,  and  give  Orders  accordingly.  If  you  will  let  me 
know  what  you  want  to  be  sent  you,  I  will  give  Orders 
to  the  Kansama  here. 

I  have  sent  you  the  first  Vol.  of  Colman's  Terence,  and 
recommend  it  to  you  for  an  equally  entertaining  and 
improving  Study. 

Will  you  give  me  as  much  of  your  white  Fur  as  will 
decorate  a  dressed  Suit  for  New  Year's  Day? — and  will 
you  tell  me  where  I  shall  get  it? — I  desire  you  to  acquaint 
Mrs  Motte  that  I  intend  to  make  a  Figure — and  no  in- 
considerable One — in  the  Waistcoat  which  she  did  me 
the  Honor  to  give  me. 


102  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Let  me  know  how  you  are,  and  if  you  gather  Strength. 
Yours,  yours  ever,  W.  H. 

Compliments  to  Messrs.  J.  (Jackson)  and  S.  (Sulivan),1 
and  Mesdames  M.  (Motte),  J.  and  S.  . 
Your  Saddle  is  gone. 


LETTER   XVIII. 

Hastings'  time  of  loneliness  is  at  length  drawing  to  a 
close.  His  wife  has  expressed  her  intention — somewhat 
unexpectedly,  it  appears — of  returning  at  once,  and  this 
hasty  note  reflects  the  joyful  tumult  of  his  feelings. 

MRS  SULIVAN  was  the  lady  whose  husband  had  brought 
the  news  of  Baillie's  disaster  in  September.  Stephen 
Sulivan  had  been  secretary  and  Persian  translator  to 
the  Madras  Committee,  but  Hastings  obtained  his  transfer 
to  Bengal,  "  as  my  assistant." z  He  seems  to  have  been 
an  amiable  man  of  literary  tastes,  without  any  pro- 
nounced business  ability.  He  borrowed  money  from 
Hastings,  and  in  spite  of  repeated  promises,  neglected 
to  repay  it,  which  causes  Larkins  to  stigmatize  him  as 
"this  unworthy  character."  Mrs  Sulivan  died  in  1816. 

(24.) 

CALCUTTA.     22nd  December,  friday  Evening. 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN, —  I  never  received  a  Letter 
that  gave  me  so  much  Pleasure. — I  have  not  a  Word 
to  say  in  Answer,  but  that  I  am  happy  even  in  the 
Expectation  of  seeing  you  in  four  Days  hence,  and 
that  if  you  disappoint  me, — I  will  not  add  the  conse- 
quence.— On  Monday  I  return  to  my  own  Bed,  and  on 

1  See  the  next  letter.  2  Gleig,  II.  327. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER  XIX.  103 

Tuesday  I  will  share  it  with  my  dear  Marian. — I  ought 
to  bid  you  stay  till  after  the  first  of  January ;  but  if  I 
do,  I'll  be  shot.  I  have  something  to  write,  but  I 
have  forgot  it. — Adieu,  my  beloved. — Compliments  to 
Mrs  Sulivan,  Mrs  Sands,  Mrs  Samson,  and  dear  Mrs 
Motte — How  I  envy  her  !  Adieu. 

Yours  ever,  ever,  more  than  can  be  written, 

W.  H. 

Tell  when  you  set  off,  and  perhaps  I  may  meet  you 
if  I  have  a  Chance  of  it. 


LETTER  XIX. 

GHERETTY  (the  word  is  spelt  in  many  different  ways), 
close  to  Chandernagor,  had  been  the  private  residence 
of  M.  Chevalier,  the  Swiss  Governor  of  that  place  for 
the  French.  When  Sir  Eyre  Coote  landed,  after  the 
capture  of  Chandernagor  by  the  English,  he  claimed 
Gheretty  in  virtue  of  a  sanad  from  the  Nawab  Kasim 
Ali  Khan  during  his  former  residence  in  India.  Hastings 
recognised  the  claim,  and  placed  him  in  possession  of 
the  house  and  grounds,  much  to  the  indignation  of 
Francis,  who  denounces  the  whole  affair  as  a  job,  and 
records  that  Coote  was  busy  erecting  a  riding-house  and 
laying  out  the  gardens,  "  as  if  the  old  fool  had  an  age 
to  live."  The  place  would  seem  to  be  represented  on 
the  Ordnance  Map  by  the  modern  Gourhattee,  but 
though  it  was  the  scene  of  a  military  camp  and  a 
review  by  Hastings  in  1785,  it  must  soon  have  lost  its 
social  importance.  Bishop  Heber  writes,  in  1824,  "  There 
is  a  large  ruined  building  a  few  miles  to  the  south  of 
Chandernagore,  which  was  the  country  house  of  the 
Governor  during  the  golden  days  of  that  settlement, 


IO4  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

and  of  the  French  influence  in  this  part  of  India.  It 
was  suffered  to  fall  into  decay  when  Chandernagore  was 
seized  by  us ;  but  when  Mr  Corrie  (his  archdeacon)  came 
to  India,  was,  though  abandoned,  still  entire,  and  very 
magnificent,  with  a  noble  staircase,  painted  ceilings,  &c. ; 
and  altogether,  in  his  opinion,  the  finest  building  of  the 
kind  in  this  country.  It  has  at  present  a  very  melan- 
choly aspect,  and  in  some  degree  reminded  me  of 
Moreton  -  Corbet,  having,  like  that,  the  remains  of 
Grecian  pillars  and  ornaments,  with  a  high  carved 
pediment." 

LADY  COOTE  (whose  maiden  name  is  unknown  to 
the  'Dictionary  of  National  Biography'),  was  Susanna 
Hutchinson,  daughter  of  a  former  Governor  of  St  Helena. 
She  seems  to  have  been  universally  admired  and  be- 
loved. Hastings'  friend  Holt  speaks  of  her  "  engaging 
and  noble  merits "  in  a  letter  to  him,  and  Coote's 
chaplain,  Westrow  Hulse,  calls  her  "that  living  pattern 
of  excellence."  She  was  much  younger  than  her  hus- 
band, and  was  accompanied  everywhere  by  a  girl-friend, 
with  whom  she  had  grown  up  at  St  Helena,  where  they 
vowed  never  to  be  separated.  Mrs  Fay  calls  this  young 

lady  Miss  Molly  B ,  and  a  letter  of  Sir  Eyre  Coote's 

mentions  her  as  Miss  Bazett.  Coote  seems  to  have 
expected  to  end  the  Carnatic  War  quickly  when  he 
sailed,  but  in  March,  1782,  he  broke  up  his  establishment 
at  Gheretty,  evidently  seeing  little  hope  of  returning 
to  it.1  There  are  several  letters  from  Lady  Coote  in 
the  Hastings  Correspondence,  entreating  the  Governor- 
General  to  support  her  husband,  at  first  with  reinforce- 
ments, and  later  against  the  opposition  of  Lord 
Macartney,  the  Governor  of  Madras.  When  Coote 
sailed  for  the  Carnatic  for  the  last  time  in  March, 
1783,  she  was  with  him,  and  anxiety  for  her  safety 
heightened  the  anguish  of  mind  which  brought  about 

1  An  advertisement  in  the  '  India  Gazette '  announces  the  sale  at  Calcutta  of 
his  horses  from  Ghyretty  through  his  English  coachman,  Williamson. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XIX.  IO5 

his  death  on  being  chased  by  a  French  fleet.  She  im- 
plies distinctly,  in  a  letter  to  Hastings,  that  the  Madras 
Government  might  have  rescued  him  had  they  wished, 
and  that  their  animosity  continued  unabated  even  after 
Sir  Eyre's  death  is  shown  by  the  chaplain's  letters 
complaining  of  their  behaviour  to  Lady  Coote.  She 
sailed  for  England  in  the  Belmont  on  February  6th,  I784,1 
taking  with  her  her  husband's  body,  to  be  buried  at 
Rockburne. 

PULTA,  where  Hastings  would  find  his  boat  awaiting 
him  for  the  return  to  Calcutta,  was  about  twelve  miles 
lower  down  the  river  than  Chandernagor. 

A  CRUPPER  (chapar)  was  a  hut  with  a  thatched  roof. 
At  the  time  of  the  siege  of  Calcutta  in  1756,  there  was 
a  considerable  town  of  these  close  to  the  city,  the  smoke 
of  the  burning  of  which  inconvenienced  the  defenders 
severely.  Captain  Price2  mentions  that  when  Hastings 
became  Governor,  he  insisted  on  the  removal  of  these 
buildings  to  a  distance,  and  refused  to  allow  them  in 
the  European  quarter,  but  under  the  rule  of  the  Majority 
they  were  permitted  to  return,  so  that  Europeans  allowed 
their  servants  to  take  up  their  quarters  all  round  their 
houses,  simply  to  keep  other  natives  from  settling  there. 
Mrs  Hastings  was  evidently  intending  to  try  an  "  open- 
air  cure,"  in  which,  and  in  the  virtues  of  exercise  and 
cold  water,  her  husband  had  great  faith.3 

When  Hastings  quitted  India,  SOLIMAN  and  SOLIMA 
were  left  to  Thompson's  care.  "  I  never  pass  a  morn- 
ing at  Alipoor  without  feeding  Solymaun  and  the  grey 
Buggy  Horse  with  Bread,"  he  says.  "  The  former,  if 
I  ever  return  to  England,  shall  certainly  be  my  Com- 
panion, however  old. — Trifling  as  this  would  appear  to 
every  Body  else  —  to  you  and  to  your  Lady  I  don't 
apologize  for  a  Word  of  it."  "The  Horses  are  all 
well;  so  are  the  Birds,  and  Selima,"  he  writes  again. 

1  '  India  Gazette.'  2  '  Some  Observations  on  a  Late  Publication,'  1783. 

3  See  infra,  p.  348. 


106  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

In  1786  Hastings  writes  to  him,  "  Captain  Ley  (Lea 
of  the  Hinchinbrooke)  has  promised  to  take  charge  of  a 
Horse  for  me.  Procure  a  good  one  for  me,  if  you  can  ; 
one  equal  to  Sulliman.  It  is  for  Mrs  Hastings,  who 
cannot  get  one  for  herself  in  England."1  In  reply, 
Thompson  sends  her  Soliman  himself,  saying  that  there 
is  no  horse  like  him,  and  he  will  carry  her  well  for  six 
years  at  least. 

The  ASSEMBLY  would  be  the  New  Year's  Day  enter- 
tainment, which  was  to  be  followed  by  a  boating 
excursion  to  Suksagar. 


CALCUTTA.     Saturday  Evening. 

MY  MARIAN,  —  I  rode  this  Morning  to  Gheretty,  where 
I.  arrived  a  little  after  8;  and  am  just  returned.  Lady 
Coote  made  many  Enquiries  after  you,  and  said  she 
hoped  you  would  stop  at  Gheretty.  I  replied  that  I 
could  not  tell,  as  your  Resolution  had  been  sudden, 
and  I  only  knew  that  you  had  promised  to  be  with 
me  by  Tuesday  Night.  —  One  Purpose  of  my  Ride  was 
to  complete  the  Cure  of  my  Cold.  —  The  Morning  was 
pleasant,  and  though  I  rode  near  Two  Miles  beyond 
Pulta,  and  accomplished  the  Journey  in  Two  Hours,  I 
walked  as  many  at  Gheretty,  and  felt  no  more  Fatigue 
than  if  it  had  been  but  an  Airing.  Are  not  you  glad 
of  this  ?  —  I  had  the  Happiness  to  find  a  Letter  from 
you  on  my  Return.  —  I  am  pleased  with  every  Part  of 
it,  your  Morning's  Rides,  the  cold  Water,  their  Effects, 
and  your  Demand  for  a  Haunch  of  Venison.  I  have 
ordered  the  Haunch  to  be  sent  to  you  to  morrow 
Evening.  —  I  will  order  a  Chupper  to  be  erected  for 
you  on  the  Top  of  the  House. 

1  Gleig,  III.  280. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XX.  107 

Let  me  know  when  you  set  out,  whether  on  Monday 
or  Tuesday,  and  at  what  Hour. 

Adieu,  my  beloved.  W.  H. 

I  am  ashamed  to  say  that  I  have  not  seen  Soliman, — 
but  I  see  it  is  Solima  you  enquire  after.  She  is  well. — 
I  ride  Suliman  to  morrow  to  Mr  Wheler's,  where  I 
pass  the  Day,  and  shall  endeavour  to  engage  Mrs  W. 
both  to  the  Assembly  and  to  Sooksaugur. — The  Jacksons 
dined  with  Us,  and  gave  a  good  Account  of  you. 


LETTER  XX. 

This  letter  is  found  in  the  series  endorsed  by  Mrs 
Hastings  "  Letters  from  my  excellent  Husband  when  I 
was  at  Hugly  and  Chinsura,"  and  has  accordingly  been 
considered  hitherto  to  date,  like  the  rest,  from  1780. 
But  in  the  first  place,  Scott  was  not  Major  until  January 
I3th,  1781,  when  he  was  promoted  on  going  home  with 
despatches,1  and  in  the  second,  McPherson,  who  had  left 
Madras  in  1776,  did  not  return  to  India  as  member  of  the 
Bengal  Council  until  September  3Oth,  1781. 2  At  this 
time  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  were  both  up  the  river  (see 
Series  II.),  and  did  not  return  to  Calcutta  until  February, 
1782.  The  Lively,  by  which  the  present  intended  for 
Queen  Charlotte  was  to  be  sent,  sailed  in  December, 
1782,  carrying  letters  for  Major  Scott,  Mr  and  Mrs 

1  '  India  Gazette.'  2  '  Bengal  Gazette.' 


108  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Woodman,  and  Lord  Shelburne.  To  the  latter,  then 
Prime  Minister,  Hastings  sent  a  copy  of  his  "  Narrative 
of  the  Insurrection  at  Banaris,"  which  he  thus  de- 
scribes : l — 

"  I  know  not  in  what  direction  the  tide  of  popular 
prejudices  may  have  run  when  the  news  arrived  in 
England  of  my  transactions  during  the  last  year  at 
Benares;  but  in  the  fear  of  misrepresentation  and  of 
misconstruction,  I  made  out  an  early  report  of  it  for  the 
immediate  information  of  this  Council,  and  joined  to  the 
report  all  the  vouchers  and  attestations  which  could  con- 
firm the  truth  of  it.  For  the  same  reason  I  have  caused 
a  number  of  printed  copies  to  be  made  of  it,  and  one  of 
these  I  have  directed  my  agent,  Major  Scott,  to  present 
to  your  lordship.  I  entreat  that  you  will  honour  it  with 
your  acceptance,  and  that  you  will  bestow  an  early  half 
hour  of  your  leisure  to  read  it.  ...  It  may  perhaps 
prove  a  gratification  of  curiosity  to  your  Lordship  to 
receive  a  book  which  is  in  every  process  of  it  the  manu- 
facture of  this  country." 

The  mention  of  the  embroidered  cover  for  the  Queen's 
present  makes  it  probable  that  a  book  was  in  question, 
and  it  is  only  natural  that  Mrs  Hastings  should  send  a 
copy  of  her  husband's  first  published  work,  so  to  speak, 
to  the  royal  lady  who  had  already  shown  her  kindness 
through  the  good  offices  of  Fanny  Burney's  "  Mrs  Schwel- 
lenberg."  Mr  McPherson2  was  considered  an  authority 
on  matters  of  etiquette  on  account  of  the  acceptance  he 
had  met  with  in  court  circles.  The  present  writer  has 
not  been  able  to  discover  any  mention  of  the  gift  in 
Scott's  letters,  but  he  may  well  have  given  an  account  of 
its  presentation  in  a  letter  to  Mrs  Hastings  which  has  not 
been  preserved. 

Strictly  speaking,  then,  the  place  of  this  letter  would  be 
after  Series  II.,  and  it  is  only  transcribed  here  because  in 
the  manuscript  it  is  bound  up  with  Series  I. 

1  Gleig,  III.  27,  28.  2  See  infra,  p.  212. 


SERIES    I. — LETTER   XX.  IOQ 

(22.) 
Opposite  NIA  SERAI,     n  <? Clock. 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN, — I  have  found  out  a  Work  for 
the  employment  of  my  Thoughts  without  detaching  them 
from  my  Marian. — I  am  not  used  to  write  to  Queens,  and 
never  feel  my  own  defects  so  much  as  when  I  presume  to 
express  the  Sentiments  and  Language  of  One  so  much 
superior  in  the  native  Excellency  of  both  as  my  Queen  is. 
— Something  too  will  be  wanting  in  the  Formalities  of 
Address.  The  first  I  submit  to  your  Correction,  and  for 
the  last  you  will  consult  Mr  McPherson.  When  you 
have  brought  it  to  its  proper  Form,  write  it  at  your 
Leisure,  and  send  it  under  a  good  Package  to  me,  that  it 
may  go  by  the  Lively. 

I  have  just  thought  that,  if  I  should  not  have  Time  to 
get  the  Cover  embroidered,  it  may  as  well  be  done  by 
Major  Scott  before  he  presents  it :  But  I  believe  I  can 
contrive  it. 

We  are  stopped  here  by  the  Wind,  the  Tide,  and 
winding  of  the  River. — I  am  affraid  you  have  made  but 
little  Way,  as  the  Wind  is  still  in  an  opposite  Direction 
to  your  Course ;  and  it  is  little  Comfort  to  me  that  you 
move  but  slowly  from  me. 

Remember  me  affectionately  to  Mrs  Motte.  May  every 
Blessing  attend  you,  my  dearest  Marian. 

My  Heart  is  very  heavy :  No  Wonder.  The  Bearer 
may  bring  a  Line  from  you.  Only  let  it  say,  I  am  well, 
if  you  are  well. 

Yours  ever,  ever,  W.  H. 


SERIES    II. 


INTRODUCTION. 

INDIA   IN    1781. 

BEARING  in  mind  Hastings'  policy  of  promoting  inter- 
course by  land  between  the  British  possessions  in  India, 
and  of  penetrating  Central  India  by  a  wedge  of  British 
influence  driven  downwards  from  the  Jamna,  we  may 
consider  how  far  that  policy  had  progressed  by  July, 
1781.  Land  communication  between  Bengal  and  Madras 
had  been  established  by  the  march  of  Colonel  Pearse's 
detachment  from  Midnapore  to  Vizagapatam,  in  spite  of 
desertions,  due  to  the  misconduct  of  subordinate  officers, 
and  the  decimation  of  the  force  by  the  first  cholera 
epidemic  on  record.  In  the  same  way  the  road  first 
traced  by  Goddard  between  the  up-river  stations  and 
Bombay  had  been  kept  open  by  Popham's  successes,  and 
Hastings  was  able  to  appoint  Colonel  Sir  John  Cummings 
to  a  new  military  command,  including  the  lands  lying 
between  Kalpi  on  the  Jamna  and  the  Narbada.1  Camac, 
for  the  success  of  whose  expedition  he  had  risked  so  much, 
had  proved  alternately  disappointing  and  satisfactory — 
the  latter  in  spite  of  himself.  Having  captured  the  fort 
of  Sipri,  and  advanced  to  meet  Sindhia,  he  seems  to  have 
become  aghast  at  his  own  daring,  and  retreated  in  the 

1  Gleig,  II.  368. 


SERIES    II. — INTRODUCTION.  Ill 

tamest  manner,  the  retreat  becoming  practically  a  rout. 
Before  and  during  this  retreat  he  wrote  frantically  to 
Colonel  Morgan  at  Cawnpore,  demanding  to  be  super- 
seded by  Colonel  Grainger  Muir  with  reinforcements,  and 
also  to  Colonel  Muir,  entreating  him  to  come  to  his  help. 
Before  the  reinforcements  could  arrive,  however,  the 
vacillating  Camac,  driven  to  desperation  and  urged  on 
by  the  counsels  of  his  subordinate  Bruce,  the  hero  of 
Gwalior,  had  turned  upon  his  pursuers  and  inflicted  upon 
them  a  signal  defeat.  Sindhia  lost  all  his  artillery  and 
the  greater  part  of  his  baggage  and  supplies,  and  in  the 
delight  and  astonishment  caused  by  his  victory,  Camac 
plucked  up  courage  to  march  away  from  Muir,  who  was 
hurrying  to  his  assistance.  Although  he  had  disregarded 
in  every  particular  the  orders  given  him  by  Hastings,  he 
had  undoubtedly  effected  the  desired  diversion  by  drawing 
Sindhia  away  from  Goddard.  But  no  dependence  could 
be  placed  upon  a  character  alternating  between  unneces- 
sary depression  and  uncalled-for  elation,  and  he  was  duly 
superseded  by  Muir,  who  settled  down  for  the  rainy 
season  in  such  a  position  as  to  be  able  to  keep  Sindhia 
from  returning  to  vex  Goddard,  and  became  at  length 
instrumental  in  concluding  a  peace  with  him. 

The  treaty  of  peace  with  the  Marathas,  which  was 
drawn  up  by  Hastings  on  hearing  of  the  Carnatic 
disasters,  and  sent,  completely  executed  on  the  side  of 
the  English,  to  Mudaji  Bhonsla,  with  the  request  that 
he  would  act  as  mediator  in  inducing  the  Regents  to 
accept  it,  failed  of  its  object.  In  vulgar  language,  the 
Marathas  were  suffering  from  "  swelled  head."  They 
regarded  Haidar's  successes  as  their  own,  and  anticipated 
that  Hastings  would  be  obliged  to  recall  Goddard,  when 
the  Bombay  side  would  lie  at  their  mercy.  Therefore 
Goddard  continued  his  career  of  conquest,  capturing 
Bassein  in  November,  1780,  and  prepared  to  press  on 
over  the  Ghauts,  and  dictate  terms  under  the  walls  of 
Poonah. 


112  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

In  spite  of  his  failure  to  bring  his  allies  to  terms, 
Mudaji  himself  took  courage  to  come  over  to  the  side 
of  the  English.  Thirteen  lakhs  more  were  paid  to  him, 
notwithstanding  the  frenzied  shrieks  of  the  "Franciscans" 
and  the  *  Bengal  Gazette,'  and  he  was  assisted  to  borrow 
an  additional  ten  lakhs.  In  return  for  these  favours  he 
withdrew  his  army  from  the  Bengal  frontier,  supplied 
Colonel  Pearse  with  a  detachment  of  two  thousand  horse 
and  furthered  the  passage  of  his  force,  and  expressed  a 
desire  for  a  definite  treaty  of  alliance.  This  friendliness 
was  the  more  gratifying  as  things  were  not  going  well  in 
the  Carnatic.  Sir  Eyre  Coote  found  the  Madras  army 
useless,  owing  to  the  despondency  of  the  Sepoys,  and  his 
own  force  was  too  small  to  allow  him  to  take  the  field 
on  a  large  scale.  He  hurried  about,  relieving  a  town 
here,  recapturing  a  lost  fortress  there,  with  a  French 
squadron  hemming  him  in  on  the  east,  and  Haidar 
marching  parallel  with  him  on  the  west.  By  all  the 
rules,  his  ill-provided  army  ought  to  have  succumbed 
to  Haidar's  huge  host,  and  humanly  speaking,  it  is  certain 
that  it  was  only  saved  by  the  unparalleled  ineptitude  of 
the  French  admiral,  who  refused  to  combine  with  Haidar 
in  a  joint  effort,  and  sailing  away  to  Mauritius,  left  the  sea 
open  to  Coote  as  a  base  of  supplies. 

This  was  the  state  of  things  when  Hastings  found  that 
it  was  desirable  for  him  to  enquire  into  the  condition  of 
the  original  British  wedge  in  Northern  India,  the  base  of 
which  was  Bengal  and  the  apex  Oudh.  The  relations 
between  the  Company  and  the  semi-independent,  semi- 
protected  state  of  Oudh  had  afforded  a  wide  field  for  the 
mischievous  activities  of  the  Majority  in  the  palmy  days 
of  Francis's  ascendancy,  and  the  result  was  disastrous. 
On  the  death  of  Shuja-u-Daula  they  had  enunciated  the 
infamous  principle  that  a  treaty  exists  only  during  the 
lifetime  of  the  ruler  with  whom  it  was  made,  and  pro- 
ceeded to  point  their  moral  by  forcing  on  his  son,  Asaf-u- 
Daula,  the  "  Nabob-Vizier  "  of  these  letters,  a  new  treaty, 


SERIES    II. — INTRODUCTION.  113 

resigning  to  the  English  the  zamindari  of  Benares.  At 
the  same  time  they  supported  their  agent,  Bristow,  in 
depriving  the  young  prince  of  the  treasure  laid  up  by  his 
father  for  the  purposes  of  government.  This  had  been 
placed  in  the  palace  of  Fyzabad,  under  the  charge  of 
Shuja-u-Daula's  principal  wife,  called  the  Bow  Begum, 
and  his  mother,  the  Nabob  Begum.  The  Bow  Begum  had 
obtained  great  influence  over  her  husband  by  her  action 
in  coming  to  his  rescue  with  her  savings  when  he  was  in 
extreme  distress  after  his  defeat  by  the  English  at  Buxar, 
and  it  was  in  acknowledgment  of  this  that  he  gave  her 
the  charge  of  his  treasure.  On  his  death,  she  declared 
that  he  had  left  her  the  money  as  her  private  property, 
by  a  will  which  she  never  attempted  to  produce.  The  im- 
position might  have  seemed  too  transparent  to  enjoy  a 
moment's  success,  but  Bristow  and  the  Majority  took  the 
Begum's  side,  and  forced  Asaf-u-Daula,  in  consideration  of 
a  comparatively  small  sum,  to  leave  his  mother  in  posses- 
sion of  the  bulk  of  the  treasure.  His  own  army  was  un- 
paid and  mutinous,  his  contribution  to  the  cost  of  the 
British  brigade  which  defended  his  frontiers  was  in 
arrears,  and  he  was  forced  to  yield. 

A  stronger  ruler  would  have  done  his  utmost,  with  the 
aid  of  the  money  which  had  been  doled  out  to  him,  to 
prepare  for  a  day  of  possible  revenge,  securing  his  own 
position  and  conciliating  the  affection  of  his  people. 
But  Asaf-u-Daula  went  from  bad  to  worse.  He  squan- 
dered what  money  he  possessed  on  court  festivities  and 
vicious  pleasures,  he  alienated  the  royal  domains  by 
granting  them  to  unworthy  favourites,  both  native  and 
European,  his  ill-paid  soldiery  kept  the  country  in  a 
ferment,  and  in  order  to  pay  the  British  troops  who 
maintained  him  on  the  ntasnad  he  borrowed  money  from 
the  Company.  Thus  his  debt  increased  year  by  year, 
while  the  state  of  his  dominions  became  more  and  more 
pitiable,  and  his  mother  and  grandmother  reigned  at 
Fyzabad  as  sovereign  princes,  raising  their  own  troops 

H 


114  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

and  ruling  their  own  territories.  "  I  have  also  thoughts 
of  visiting  the  province  of  Oude,"  writes  Hastings  to 
Laurence  Sulivan  in  November,  1780,  "  which  is  most 
dismally  wasted  and  disordered  by  the  effects  of  the  dis- 
jointed control  which  has  hitherto  prevailed  in  it.  Its 
resources  have  already  begun  to  fail  us,  and  the  Nabob 
himself,  the  Vizier  of  the  empire,  has  been  at  times 
destitute  even  of  the  necessaries  of  life.  I  will  not  go 
unless  I  am  certain  that  I  can  relieve  the  distresses  of 
the  country."1  Writing  to  Scott  in  April,  1781,  of  his 
intended  journey,  he  says,  "  I  dread  the  thoughts  of  it, 
for  I  see  infinite  need  of  reformation  in  that  quarter,  and 
am  afraid  I  shall  want  both  time,  materials,  and  a  vigor- 
ous hand  to  support  what  I  may  have  accomplished. 
Something  too  will  be  required  at  Benares,  and  something 
more  than  I  shall  dare  to  attempt ;  for  if  it  were  left  to 
my  option,  I  would  restore  that  zemindarry  to  the  Nabob 
of  Oude.  Either  that  ought  to  be  done,  or  the  Rajah 
reduced  to  the  condition  of  a  zemindar.  But  my  prin- 
cipal and  ruling  motive  for  this  expedition  is  to  deter- 
mine Dewaugur  Pundit  to  a  meeting  with  me."2  This 
Dewagar  Pandit,  whose  name  Gleig  spells  Dewangur 
throughout,  was  the  diwan  or  prime  minister  of  Mudaji 
Bhonsla,  and  it  was  with  him  that  all  Hastings'  negoci- 
ations  for  an  alliance  had  been  carried  on.  For  two  years 
he  had  expressed  an  intense  desire  to  meet  the  Governor- 
General,  but  he  was  old  and  infirm,  and  Calcutta  was  too 
far  off.  "  Benares,"  says  Hastings,  "  is  near,  and  its 
sanctity  has  inducements  to  a  Hindoo,  and  yet  greater 
to  the  superstition  of  age  and  infirmity." 

It  is  important  to  notice  the  relative  weight,  in 
Hastings'  mind,  of  the  three  reasons  he  gives  for  his 
visit  to  the  Upper  Provinces.  Macaulay  has  woven  about 
this  journey  an  astonishing  web  of  sophistry  and  false- 
hood— there  is  no  other  word,  for  the  reader  who  knows 
the  facts  is  inclined  to  rub  his  eyes  and  ask  whether  he 
1  Gleig,  II.  335.  2  Gleig,  II.  383- 


SERIES    II. — INTRODUCTION.  115 

sees  correctly,  when  he  arrives  at  this  portion  of  the 
famous  Essay.  According  to  Macaulay,  Hastings  was  in 
dire  need  of  money  for  the  expenses  of  the  Carnatic  War, 
and  looking  round  for  some  means  of  obtaining  it,  hit 
upon  the  plan  of  extorting  it,  without  real  or  imagined 
justification,  from  the  ruler  of  Benares,  and  failing  him, 
from  Oudh.  That  the  money  in  the  latter  case  was  a 
debt  due  to  the  Company  is  a  detail.  It  has  been  shown 
that  the  visit  to  Benares  was  a  mere  side-issue  in  the  orig- 
inal scheme  of  the  journey,  determined  by  the  fact  that 
Benares  offered  a  suitable  spot  at  which  to  invite  the 
Berar  Diwan  to  an  interview,  and  that  Hastings'  main 
object  was  to  ameliorate  the  condition  of  Oudh,  and  place 
its  finances  on  a  proper  footing.  One  of  the  richest 
countries  in  India,  it  could  not  even  pay  the  expenses  of 
its  government,  far  less  those  of  the  defence  of  its  frontiers. 
That  the  Bengal  Government  was  in  dire  need  of  money 
is  quite  true,  and  will  be  brought  out  more  fully  in  the 
following  pages,  but  it  is  not  usually  expected  that  a 
creditor's  own  financial  distresses  should  lead  him  to 
forego  the  collection  of  his  debts. 

The  zamindari  of  Benares,  to  which  events  were  to 
give  an  unexpected  importance,  and  prejudice  a  wholly 
factitious  one,  was  originally  a  portion  of  the  Oudh 
territories,  but  was  ceded,  as  mentioned  above,  to  the 
Company  by  the  treaty  of  1775.  The  policy  pursued 
with  regard  to  it  was  that  afterwards  followed  by  Lord 
Cornwallis  in  the  settlement  of  Bengal,  by  which  the 
zamindar,  who  was  a  temporary  tenant,  his  tenure  de- 
pending on  the  due  performance  of  his  feudal  duties  and 
on  the  will  of  his  suzerain,  became  permanent  proprietor 
of  the  soil  under  a  formal  charter.  It  is  this  change  of 
status  to  which  Hastings  alludes  above  as  requiring  re- 
versal, either  by  placing  the  zamindari  again  under  the 
suzerainty  of  the  Nawab- Vizier,  who  would  know  how 
to  deal  with  a  troublesome  vassal,  or  by  withdrawing 
the  fixity  of  tenure,  of  which  this  was  so  far  an  isolated 


Il6  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

instance,  and  making  the  zamindar's  position  once  more 
conditional  on  his  good  behaviour.  The  amount  of  the 
annual  tribute  to  be  paid  by  the  zamindar,  Chait  Singh, 
was  fixed  by  the  charter,  but  it  was  not  mentioned 
whether  he  was  or  was  not  still  liable  to  the  other  feudal 
duties  which  had  formerly  been  required  of  him.  These 
"aids,"  such  as  the  supply  of  troops  in  time  of  war, 
and  of  additional  funds  when  the  public  service  needed 
money,  were  of  the  essence  of  both  Eastern  and  Western 
feudalism,  and  Chait  Singh  could  only  have  been  released 
from  them  on  the  understanding  that  he  was  in  future  to 
be  a  sovereign  prince.  The  charter  was  silent  on  this 
subject,  but  it  imposed  conditions  which  were  wholly 
inconsistent  with  the  position  of  a  sovereign  prince l — and 
indeed,  even  Francis  and  his  fellows  would  hardly  have 
cared  to  set  up  an  independent  state  between  the  Presi- 
dency and  Oudh,  the  borders  of  which  they  were  binding 
themselves  by  treaty  to  defend.  But  of  this  silence  Chait 
Singh  took  advantage  to  consider  himself  a  sovereign 
prince,  and  his  contention  was  frantically  upheld  by 
Burke  and  the  Whigs  generally,  whose  detestation  of 
feudalism  in  Europe  impelled  them  to  do  all  they  could 
to  destroy  it  in  Asia. 

Hastings,  on  the  other  hand,  held  the  view  natural  to 
a  man  with  official  experience,  that  Chait  Singh's  new 
privileges  did  not  free  him  from  his  old  responsibilities. 
His  frontiers,  like  those  of  Oudh,  would  need  to  be 
defended  in  case  of  a  Maratha  invasion,  and  the  stronger 
the  Maratha  power,  the  greater  the  danger  of  Benares, 
in  common  with  the  rest  of  the  British  sphere  of  influ- 
ence. Therefore,  when  the  prosecution  of  the  Maratha 
War  demanded  an  increase  of  force,  Chait  Singh  was 
called  upon  to  defray  the  cost  of  three  battalions  of 
Sepoys  by  an  additional  contribution  of  five  lakhs 
annually.  The  demand  interfered  with  his  passion  for 
hoarding  wealth,  and  he  endeavoured  to  escape  it  by 

1  Hastings  to  the  Court  of  Directors,  Gleig,  III.  37-39. 


SERIES    II. — INTRODUCTION.  117 

every  subterfuge  in  his  power,  trying  in  1780  to  avoid 
the  payment  by  a  private  gift  of  two  lakhs  to  Hastings 
— which  was  accepted  for  the  public  service,  and  used 
to  defray  the  extra  expenses  of  Camac's  detachment. 
Finding  that  he  was  not  to  escape,  he  raised  the  rents 
of  all  his  domains,  alleging  the  subsidy  as  a  reason, 
but  clearing  a  very  handsome  profit  for  himself,  and 
in  1781  he  declared  it  necessary  to  pawn  his  jewels, 
and  called  in  all  the  money  he  had  lodged  in  the 
hands  of  the  Benares  bankers,  causing  widespread 
distress.1  The  delays  necessary  to  give  full  effect  to 
these  theatrical  proceedings  were  productive  of  great 
inconvenience  to  the  Bengal  Government,  Camac's 
force  being  in  danger  of  starvation  at  the  end  of  1780 
owing  to  the  lack  of  the  money  which  was  to  provide 
their  ordinary  pay,  and  it  became  clear  that  Chait  Singh 
must  be  taught  his  true  position.  In  November,  1780, 
on  the  advice  of  Sir  Eyre  Coote,2  Hastings  made  a 
further  demand  upon  him  for  the  services  of  two 
thousand  cavalry,  in  view  of  the  seriousness  of  the 
military  situation,  but  though  the  Rajah's  bodyguard 
contained  more  than  the  required  number,  he  pleaded 
inability  to  furnish  it,  or  even  one  thousand.  At  the 
same  time,  he  began  to  enter  into  negociations  with 
Sindhia  and  the  Oudh  Begums  against  the  English. 

No  government,  and  least  of  all  one  confronted  with 
the  complication  of  difficulties  facing  that  of  Bengal  at 
the  moment,  could  afford  to  overlook  such  conduct  as 
this.  Coote  was  barely  holding  his  own  in  the  Carnatic, 
Goddard  had  been  turned  back  from  Poonah,  and  Chait 
Singh  trusted  to  his  distance  from  Calcutta  to  save  him 
from  punishment.  The  present  writer  has  pointed  out 
elsewhere 3  that  others  were  waiting  to  follow  his 
example  if  his  boldness  were  once  justified  by  success, 

1  Gleig,  II.  400.     The  letter  containing  these  particulars,  which  Gleig  gives 
as  anonymous,  is  to  be  found  in  the  Correspondence,  signed  by  Major  Scott. 

2  Debates.  3  '  The  Great  Proconsul,'  Appendix  III. 


Il8  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

and  the  fact  that  Benares  was  a  place  of  pilgrimage 
for  all  India  would  have  enabled  the  news  to  spread 
like  wildfire  that  the  English  were  too  weak  to  push 
matters  to  extremity  with  a  rebellious  vassal.  Hastings 
wasted  no  time  in  dealing  with  the  minor  malcontents 
nearer  home,  but  prepared  to  strike  at  the  most  distant, 
the  most  powerful,  and  the  most  advantageously  placed 
— who  was  also  the  spoilt  child  of  the  Bengal  Govern- 
ment, which  had  interfered  in  his  favour  with  the  Nawab- 
Vizier  before  he  passed  under  their  authority.  But  as 
has  been  shown,  he  attached  no  such  supreme  import- 
ance to  the  zamindari  and  its  ruler  as  his  adversaries 
have  contended,  and  it  was  the  guilty  conscience  of  Chait 
Singh,  who  viewed  the  Governor-General's  journey  as 
directed  solely  against  himself,  that  exaggerated  the 
peril  in  which  he  stood. 

As  a  hint  to  Chait  Singh  that  the  patience  of  the 
Government  was  on  the  point  of  being  exhausted,  the 
Resident  at  Benares,  Francis  Fowke,  was  recalled.  This 
man  was  a  favourite  and  nominee  of  the  Majority,  and 
had  been  appointed  by  them  on  account  of  his  notorious 
hostility  to  Hastings.  It  had  been  impossible  to  imbue 
him  with  a  sense  of  the  seriousness  of  the  situation,  and 
it  is  more  than  probable  that  he  had  encouraged  Chait 
Singh  in  his  obstinacy  by  assurances  that  Hastings 
would  soon  be  recalled,  and  replaced  by  Francis.  His 
removal  was  a  declaration  of  war,  a  sign  that  the 
Governor-General  was  about  to  take  things  into  his 
own  hands,  as  his  appointment  had  been  the  sign  of 
the  Governor-General's  humiliation.  In  his  place  was 
appointed  William  Markham,  a  son  of  Hastings'  old 
friend  and  sturdy  supporter,  the  Archbishop  of  York. 
Markham  was  the  Governor-General's  private  secretary, 
but  he  had  come  out  originally  with  Wheler,  who  was 
much  gratified  by  his  advancement.1  He  had  been  a 
zealous  and  efficient  secretary,  and  was  a  man  of  great 

1  State  Papers. 


SERIES    II. — INTRODUCTION.  IIQ 

personal  attractions,  as  is  shown  by  the  favourable 
impression  he  produced  at  the  Trial,  but  he  was 
hardly  twenty-one  years  of  age,  and  his  slight  know- 
ledge of  Persian  left  him  largely  in  the  hands  of  his 
native  translators.  He  received  orders  to  repeat  the 
demand  for  the  assistance  of  a  thousand  horse,  and 
did  so  "with  almost  daily  importunity." 

The  state  of  public  affairs  at  the  time  Hastings  started 
on  his  journey  was  such  as  to  enable  him  to  do  so  with 
a  quiet  mind.  "The  ships  of  the  season  are  all  dis- 
patched," he  says  in  his  minute  of  May  21st;1  "the 
business  of  the  revenues  are  put  into  an  easy  channel 
and  will  not  require  much  of  the  Board's  attention ; 
and  nothing  of  any  consequence  can  happen  after  the 
setting  in  of  the  rains  that  can  materially  affect  the 
tranquillity  of  the  country  or  the  general  system  of 
politics ;  but  what  chiefly  renders  the  present  oppor- 
tunity favorable  is  the  mutual  confidence  which,  after 
a  period  of  so  many  years,  is  at  length  happily  restored 
between  the  Members  of  this  Administration."  The 
state  of  the  Council,  indeed,  somewhat  resembled  the 
solitude  which  the  Romans  called  peace.  The  absence 
of  Coote  made  Hastings  and  Wheler  the  only  acting 
members,  and  for  the  purposes  of  the  immediate  future 
Wheler  was  invested  with  the  powers  of  the  Governor- 
General  and  Council,  for  the  ordinary  business  of  govern- 
ment, and  Hastings  with  the  powers  of  the  Council 
collectively  with  his  own,  for  the  arrangements  to  be 
made  with  the  native  powers.2  Wheler,  otherwise  "  the 
Council "  or  "  the  Board,"  according  to  circumstances, 
was  gratified  by  the  appointment  of  a  full  staff  and 
an  aide  -de  -  camp  of  his  own  3  for  the  period  of  the 
Governor  -  General's  absence,  and  appears  to  have 
enjoyed  his  new  dignity  hugely.  It  could  not  in  any 
case  last  very  long,  for  one  or  more  new  Members  of 
Council  were  certain  to  arrive  by  the  autumn  ships 

1  State  Papers.  2  Ibid. ,  July  3rd.  3  'Bengal  Gazette.' 


120  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

from  home  (uncertainty  as  to  the  course  which  these 
would  adopt  had  contributed  to  determine  Hastings 
in  seizing  the  present  opportunity),  and  the  Governor- 
General  did  not  expect  to  be  absent  more  than  three 
months.  He  intended  to  travel  "  with  a  very  light 
retinue,"  congratulating  himself  that  he  could  "  subsist 
with  few  conveniences  and  with  little  state."  l  That 
he  anticipated  no  resistance  is  shown  by  the  fact  that 
Mrs  Hastings  accompanied  him,  and  although,  as  is 
explained  in  Letter  IV.  of  this  series,  she  remained 
at  Monghyr,  he  had  intended  to  take  her  to  Benares 
with  him.  She  was  accompanied  by  Mrs  Motte  and 
Mrs  Stephen  Sulivan,  and  when  her  husband  left  her 
at  Monghyr,  "  more  from  a  secret  impulse  than  from 
any  solid  reason,"  as  he  says,  he  deputed  the  aide-de- 
camp Captain  Sands  to  attend  upon  her. 

The  names  of  his  own  companions  may  be  gathered 
from  the  list  in  the  "State  Papers"  of  English  gentle- 
men at  Benares  on  August  2ist.  Stephen  Sulivan2  was 
private  secretary,  Major  Palmer  military  secretary,  and 
Mr  Colebrooke  Persian  secretary.  The  last-named  was 
the  son  of  Hastings'  old  supporter  Sir  George  Colebrooke, 
who  writes  to  Hastings  in  1807,  apparently  in  a  burst 
of  long  pent-up  resentment,  to  complain  that  so  little 
had  been  done  for  the  young  man.  He  had  not  suc- 
ceeded in  amassing  a  fortune,  whereas  Stephen  Sulivan 
had  been  amply  provided  for  by  being  granted  the  Opium 
Contract.  The  grant  was  contrary  to  the  Company's 
orders,  it  is  true,  but  Sir  George  says  in  so  many  words 
that  this  little  irregularity  would  not  have  troubled  him 
if  his  son  had  been  allowed  to  share  in  the  proceeds. 
The  other  aides-de-camp  were  Captain  Hogan,  Lieutenant 
James  Anderson,  and  the  Governor  -  General's  cousin, 
Lieutenant  Turner.  Of  the  Service  there  accompanied 
him  David  Anderson,  brother  of  the  aide-de-camp,  who 

1  Gleig,  II.  383. 

2  Not  Richard  Sulivan,  as  in  the  index  to  the  State  Papers. 


SERIES   II. — INTRODUCTION.  121 

was  to  be  detailed  to  conduct  the  negociations  with 
Sindhia,  Richard  Sumner,  Richard  Johnson,  who  was  to 
be  Middleton's  assistant  at  Lucknow,  Charles  Chapman, 
Edward  Hay,1  "  sub  -  secretary  to  the  Hon'ble  the 
Governor  -  General  and  Council,"  and  G.  F.  Grand, 
husband  of  the  lady  upon  whom  the  attentions  of 
Francis  had  brought  disgrace  and  divorce.2  In  the 
Governor-General's  "family"  were  Mr  Thomson  (Francis 
Thompson,  not  the  George  Nesbitt  Thompson  of  the 
later  letters),  and  Mr  Bowers — both  of  them  apparently 
clerks,  and — the  name  appears  curiously  in  this  connec- 
tion—" Mr  Hodges."  This  was  William  Hodges,  R.A., 
who  had  accompanied  Captain  Cook  as  draughtsman  on 
his  second  voyage,  and  was  now  making  an  artistic  tour 
in  India.  He  is  recommended  to  Hastings'  patronage 
in  a  letter  from  John  McPherson,  dated  December  3ist, 
1778,  and  he  made  good  use  of  his  opportunities  in  this 
journey.  He  painted  a  number  of  pictures  for  Hastings, 
of  which  some  are  still  in  the  possession  of  Miss  Winter, 
and  on  his  return  to  England  he  published  his  '  Travels 
in  India '  in  quarto,  and  a  folio  of  '  Select  Views  in 
India,'  printed  in  colours.  He  died  in  1797,  leaving  a 
wife  and  a  large  family  in  poor  circumstances,  and  his 
brother-in-law  writes  to  beg  Hastings  to  buy  the  draw- 
ings from  which  his  pictures  were  made.  Hastings 
did  so,  and  also  showed  kindness  to  the  family  in 
other  ways. 

All  arrangements  had  been  made  for  the  journey  to 
begin  on  July  3rd,  but  the  arrival  of  despatches  from 
home  announcing  the  outbreak  of  war  with  the  States 
of  Holland  necessitated  a  short  delay,  during  which 
orders  were  sent  to  the  officer  commanding  at  Chander- 
nagor,  the  Chiefs  of  the  factories  at  Patna,  Dacca,  and 
Murshidabad,  and  the  Resident  at  Balasore,  for  the 
capture  of  the  Dutch  posts  near  those  places.8  The 

1  Misprinted  May  in  the  signatures  to  documents  in  the  State  Papers. 

2  See  Busteed's  '  Echoes  from  Old  Calcutta.'  3  State  Papers. 


122  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

tragi  -  comedy    enacted    at    Chinsura    has    already   been 
mentioned.1     The  actual  start  was  made  on  July  7th. 

The  following  table  of  times  and  dates  for  the  journey 
is  compiled  from  various  itineraries  : — 

Calcutta  to  Barrackpore,          .         .     One  day,  .     .  .     Arrived  July  8th. 

Barrackpore  to  Murshidabad, .         .     2  days,      .     .  .     Arrived  July  loth. 

Murshidabad  to  Rajmahal,      .         .     2  days,      .     .  .     July  I3th  to  1 5th. 
Rajmahal  to  Bhagalpur,  .         .         .     One  day. 

(Stay  at  Bhagalpur  until  July  23rd.) 

Bhagalpur  to  Monghyr,  35  miles,         One  day,  .     .  .     Arrived  July  24th. 

(Short  stay  at  Monghyr.) 
Monghyr  to  Bankipore,    .         .         .     One  day. 

(A  stay  of  some  time  at  Bankipore,  Patna.) 

Bankipore  to  Dinapore,   .         .         .     One  day,  .     .  .     Arrived  August  nth. 

Dinapore  to  Buxar,  .         .         .     One  day,  .     .  .     Arrived  August  I2th. 

Buxar  to  Benares,  63  miles,     .         .     Two  days,     .  .     Arrived  August  I4th. 

The  first  part  of  the  voyage  up  the  river  was  a  kind 
of  prolonged  picnic,  the  scenes  of  which  have  been 
chronicled  with  pen  and  pencil  by  the  industrious  Mr 
Hodges,  who  is  full  of  admiration  for  all  that  he  sees. 
The  miniature  prettiness  of  Chinsura,  the  flourishing 
tillage,  abundant  cattle,  neat  villages,  and  swarming 
population  of  Lower  Bengal,  and  the  park-like  sur- 
roundings of  Bhagalpur,  all  rouse  him  to  enthusiasm, 
and  this  enthusiasm  may  be  conceived  to  have  coloured 
his  pictures  of  places  on  the  route,  which  are  alleged 
by  later  travellers,  notably  Lord  Valentia,  to  be  in- 
correct owing  to  exaggeration.  He  is  specially  delighted 
with  Bhagalpur,  which  was  shortly  to  afford  Mrs 
Hastings  an  asylum,  and  where  Augustus  Cleveland,2 
the  Collector  of  the  district,  had  formed  for  himself  a 
sort  of  paradise,  domesticating  on  his  island  all  kinds 
of  wild  animals,  which  were  brought  to  him  by  the 
hill-people  whose  confidence  he  was  the  first  to  win. 
Hodges  was  almost  as  much  pleased  with  Monghyr, 
though  here  he  was  chiefly  interested  in  the  buildings 
and  fortifications.  The  place  was  noted  for  its  fine 

See  suflra,  p.  51.  2  See  infra,  p.  195. 


SERIES    II. — INTRODUCTION.  123 

situation  and  pure  air,  and  served  as  a  sanatorium  for 
the  troops  stationed  either  in  Lower  Bengal  or  up  the 
river.  It  was  also  an  arsenal,  but  no  regular  garrison 
was  kept  there,  and  although  Lord  Cornwallis  after- 
wards erected  additional  store -houses,  no  attempt  had 
been  made,  even  in  Lord  Valentia's  day  (1803-4),  to 
bring  the  fortifications  up  to  date.  Goddard,  who  had 
formerly  commanded  here,  had  built  a  fine  European 
house,  and  it  was  this,  probably,  that  Mrs  Hastings  in- 
habited. In  consequence  of  her  ill  health,  a  trip  to 
Monghyr  had  been  prescribed  for  her  before  her  hus- 
band decided  on  visiting  the  Upper  Provinces,  and 
when  the  sudden  misgiving  which  assailed  him,  as  he 
mentions  in  Letter  IV.,  determined  him  to  take  her 
no  further  for  the  present,  he  would  feel  assured  that 
she  was  left  in  the  surroundings  most  likely  to  be  of 
benefit  to  her.  She  remained,  therefore,  at  Monghyr, 
with  Mrs  Motte  and  Mrs  Sulivan,  and  Captain  Sands 
in  attendance. 

The  Governor- General  and  his  suite,  continuing  their 
voyage,  arrived  first  at  Patna,  where,  says  Hodges,  the 
people  crowded  the  banks  of  the  river  and  perched 
themselves  on  roofs  and  walls  to  catch  a  glimpse  of 
Hastings,  and  were  much  impressed  by  the  simplicity 
of  his  appearance,  and  the  care  he  took  to  restrain  his 
chabdars  from  keeping  back  the  multitudes  too  roughly. 
At  Bankipore,  the  European  settlement,  some  time  was 
spent,  and  it  was  not  until  August  gth  or  loth  that  the 
voyage  was  continued,  first  to  Dinapur  and  then  to 
Buxar.  Here  Hastings  was  met  by  Chait  Singh,  who 
was  realising  too  late  the  truth  Mr  Kipling  has  sum- 
marised, that  though  the  patience  of  the  Sarkar  is  as 
long  as  a  summer's  day,  its  arm  is  as  long  as  a  winter's 
night.  From  this  time  forward,  we  have  Hastings'  own 
account  of  his  proceedings,  given  both  in  the  letters 
written  to  the  Council  and  printed  in  the  State  Papers,  and 
in  his  "  Narrative  of  the  Insurrection  at  Banaris."  The 


124  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Rajah,  who  had  continued  to  return  evasive  answers 
to  Markham's  demand  for  the  body  of  cavalry,  appeared 
with  a  guard  of  two  thousand  men,  a  fact  which  not 
only  gave  the  lie  to  his  professions  of  inability  to  furnish 
troops,  but  was  in  itself  a  grave  discourtesy,  since 
Hastings'  own  escort  was  so  small.  He  was  received 
coldly,  both  on  his  first  visit,  and  on  a  second  which 
he  paid  to  the  Governor  -  General's  boat  the  next 
morning,  when  he  laid  his  turban  on  Hastings'  knees 
in  token  of  abject  submission.  He  was  ready  to  promise 
anything,  but  Hastings  declined  to  discuss  the  matter 
until  he  had  reached  Benares,  where  he  arrived  on 
August  I4th.  Here  he  took  up  his  quarters  in  what 
was  known  as  the  garden  of  Mahdew  Doss  (Mahadeo 
Das),  an  estate  situated  in  the  suburbs  of  the  city,  con- 
taining a  number  of  buildings  in  one  large  enclosure, 
and  commanded  on  every  side  by  houses  and  trees. 
The  Europeans  occupying  this  numbered  about  thirty 
in  all.  Markham  had  a  newly  raised  guard  of  about  fifty 
"  orderly  sepoys,"  possessing  neither  arms  nor  discipline, 
and  Major  Popham  had  come  in  from  Mirzapur  with  four 
companies  of  Sepoys  as  guard  to  the  Governor-General 
— a  small  enough  force,  in  any  case,  to  defend  such  a 
position. 

It  would  seem  probable  that  the  sight  of  Hastings' 
slender  escort,  and  the  fact  that  it  was  encamped,  so  to 
speak,  in  a  trap,  moved  Chait  Singh  to  repent  of  the 
extreme  humility  he  had  shown,  for  the  answer  which  he 
sent  by  Markham  to  the  Governor-General's  letter  of 
accusation  consisted  rather  of  excuses  and  self-justifica- 
tion than  of  promises  of  amendment.  Hastings  was 
quick  to  notice  the  change  of  tone,  and  lost  not  a  mo- 
ment in  responding  to  it.  To  deprive  the  Rajah  of  his 
zamindari  would  bear  an  appearance  of  harshness  which 
he  had  long  ago  decided  would  be  inexpedient,  but  there 
must  be  no  mistake  in  future  as  to  the  authority  from 


SERIES   II. — INTRODUCTION.  125 

whom,  or  the  terms  on  which,  he  held  it.  A  fine  of  fifty 
lakhs  of  rupees  was  the  punishment  he  had  destined  in 
his  own  mind  for  Chait  Singh  should  he  prove  refractory 
— this  was  the  famous  "  intention  to  inflict  a  penalty 
utterly  disproportionate  to  the  offence "  which  Pitt 
alleged  as  his  reason  for  the  change  of  front  that  brought 
about  the  impeachment  of  Hastings — and  in  view  of  his 
inclination  to  contumacy,  he  ordered  Markham,  on  the 
morning  of  August  i6th,  to  take  two  companies  of  Sepoys 
and  place  him  under  arrest. 

This  was  done,  and  the  Rajah,  taken  by  surprise,  and 
for  the  moment  cowed,  was  made  prisoner  in  his  palace 
of  Shiwala  Ghat,  and  left  there  under  the  charge  of 
Lieutenant  Stalker,  who  commanded  Markham's  guard, 
and  had  under  his  orders  the  two  companies  of  Sepoys 
commanded  by  Lieutenants  Scott  and  Simes.  Markham 
gave  strict  directions  that  while  every  indulgence  was  to 
be  shown  to  Chait  Singh  consistent  with  his  position, 
no  one  was  to  be  admitted  to  his  presence  save  certain 
selected  servants,  and  having  thus  made  things  secure, 
as  he  thought,  returned  to  Hastings  with  a  piteous  letter 
from  the  prisoner,  which  was  quickly  followed  by  a 
second.  A  reassuring  reply  was  sent,  and  it  was  pro- 
mised that  Markham  should  return  and  explain  matters 
to  him,  but  even  while  the  young  Resident's  instructions 
were  being  drawn  up,  alarming  news  arrived. 

Disregarding  the  orders  he  had  received,  Lieutenant 
Stalker  allowed  the  commanders  of  Chait  Singh's  armed 
forces,  of  all  people,  to  be  admitted  to  his  presence.1 
These  armed  men,  who  had  escorted  the  Rajah  to  Buxar, 
had  accompanied  him  on  his  return,  and  were  quartered 
in  the  palace  fortress  of  Ramnagar,  on  the  opposite  bank 
of  the  river,  ready  to  cross  at  a  moment's  notice.2  The 
order  they  had  expected,  to  attack  the  British  mission  in 
its  undefended  quarters,  did  not  come,  but  they  were 

1  Debates.  2  Hastings  to  Scott,  Gleig,  II.  426. 


126  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

summoned  instead  by  their  officers  to  rescue  the  Rajah 
from  the  durance  in  which  he  was  held  by  a  contemptibly 
small  force.  Crossing  the  river,  they  swarmed  up  to  the 
palace,  their  tumultuous  assemblage  causing  alarm  in  the 
minds  both  of  the  Sepoy  guard  and  of  Hastings  and  his 
suite  at  the  garden  of  Mahadeo  Das.  At  the  two  places 
the  terrible  discovery  seems  to  have  been  made  simul- 
taneously that  from  some  extraordinary  idea  of  making 
things  more  agreeable  for  the  Rajah,  the  Sepoys  had 
taken  no  ammunition  with  them.  A  third  company, 
with  a  supply  of  ammunition,  was  despatched  at  once 
under  Lieutenant  Birrell,  and  with  them  Chait  Ram, 
Markham's  chabdar,  a  Brahmin  of  high  caste,  bearing  a 
verbal  message  from  Hastings  to  warn  Chait  Singh  that 
"  Every  Sepoy  is  as  a  European,  and  every  European  is 
as  the  Company.  If  a  drop  of  their  blood  is  shed,  yours 
shall  answer  it." 

When  the  relief  detachment  arrived  at  Shiwala  Ghat, 
it  found  the  place  surrounded  and  all  the  avenues  blocked 
by  Chait  Singh's  troops.  Realising  the  danger  of  the 
helpless  Sepoys  inside,  who  were  stationed  in  an  enclosed 
square  surrounding  the  Rajah's  apartment,  Birrell  made 
no  attempt  to  force  a  passage,  and  sent  the  chabdar  on 
alone.  The  old  man  was  well  known,  from  his  constant 
employment  by  Markham  on  similar  errands,  and  obtained 
leave  to  pass.  Rash  he  may  have  been,  but  there  is  some- 
thing touching  in  his  confidence  in  the  power  of  his 
English  masters  at  such  a  moment,  for  to  the  message, 
already  sufficiently  uncompromising,  which  he  had  to 
deliver,  he  is  asserted  to  have  added  passionate  vitupera- 
tions of  his  own.  But  even  before  he  had  reached  the 
Rajah's  presence,  fire  was  opened  upon  Birrell  and  his 
force,  and  at  the  same  moment  the  armed  men  nearest 
the  palace  rushed  in  and  fell  upon  the  Sepoys.  These 
offered  but  a  feeble  resistance,  though  the  three  officers 
redeemed  their  earlier  disobedience  by  an  astonishing 
fight.  Their  bodies  were  found  lying  close  together, 


SERIES    II. — INTRODUCTION.  127 

shockingly  mangled,1  when  Birrell  and  his  force  fought 
their  way  in.  The  Rajah,  a  craven  even  in  the  moment 
of  temporary  triumph,  had  taken  advantage  of  the  con- 
fusion to  escape  through  a  wicket  leading  to  the  river, 
whence  he  was  let  down  the  steep  bank,  by  means  of  a 
rope  made  of  turbans  tied  together,  into  a  boat.  His 
soldiers  followed  him,  "  in  the  same  tumultuous  manner 
in  which  they  had  assembled,"  says  Hastings. 

The  position  of  the  Governor-General  and  his  party 
was  now  one  of  extreme  danger.  Popham  had  brought 
up  the  remainder  of  his  detachment  from  his  camp,  about 
two  miles  off,  too  late  to  rescue  the  two  companies  in  the 
palace,  but  in  time  to  form  some  sort  of  garrison  at  the 
garden.  With  Birrell's  company,  which  had  suffered 
some  loss,  and  one  or  two  survivors  of  the  massacre,  he 
could  muster  four  hundred  men  with  which  to  defend  an 
extended  and  almost  indefensible  position.  More  serious 
even  than  the  massacre  itself  was  the  effect  it  was  certain 
to  produce  on  the  minds  of  the  Sepoys  and  of  the  natives 
generally.  The  troops  who  had  been  wont  to  boast, 
"  The  good  fortune  of  our  masters  is  ours,"  would  think 
their  trust  betrayed,  the  native  rulers  would  flatter  them- 
selves that  the  colossus  before  which  they  had  bowed 
down  possessed,  like  its  predecessors,  feet  of  clay.  At 
this  crisis  Hastings  acted  in  the  spirit  of  the  words  which 
he  had  written  when  confronted  with  the  Carnatic 
disaster :  "  Acts  that  proclaim  confidence,  and  a  deter- 
mined spirit  in  the  hour  of  adversity,  are  the  surest  means 
of  retrieving  it.  Self-distrust  will  never  fail  to  create  a 
distrust  in  others,  and  make  them  become  your  enemies  ; 
for  in  no  part  of  the  world  is  the  principle  of  supporting 
a  rising  interest  and  depressing  a  falling  one  more  prev- 
alent than  in  India."2 

1  In   1793,    Stalker's  sister,   Mrs   Stewart,   a  widow  with  seven   children, 
writes  to  entreat  help  of  Hastings  in  starting  a  school,  reminding  him  of  her 
brother's  fate.     A  few  days  later,  she  sends  a  letter  of  ecstatic  gratitude  for  the 
assistance  he  has  given  her. 

2  Gleig,  II.  358. 


128  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

In  pursuance  of  this  principle,  the  zamindari  was  at 
once  declared  forfeit,  and  a  Naib  appointed  to  administer 
the  revenues,  in  the  person  of  Babu  Ausan  Singh,  who 
had  been  Diwan  in  the  time  of  Chait  Singh's  father,  while 
troops  were  ordered  up  from  Chanar,  Mirzapur,  and  Dina- 
pur  to  assist  in  preserving  order.  The  Rajah,  feeling 
himself  unsafe  even  in  the  midst  of  his  four  thousand 
armed  men  at  Ramnagar,  fled  in  the  night,  taking  with 
him  his  possessions  and  his  zenana,  to  the  strong  fortress 
of  Latifpur,  near  Chanar.  He  took  with  him  also  his 
brother  and  adopted  brother,  who  might  otherwise  have 
put  themselves  forward  as  heirs  of  the  zamindari,  but  he 
overlooked  his  stepmother,  the  Rani  Gulab  Kur,  and  her 
son-in-law  and  grandsons,  who  began  at  once  to  cultivate 
Hastings,  with  a  lively  sense  of  favours  to  come. 

The  dangers  of  the  situation  seemed  in  a  fair  way  to  be 
surmounted  when  an  unfortunate  incident  revived  '  'em 
in  an  acute  form.  The  battalion  from  Chanar,  under 
Captain  Blair,  had  been  ordered  to  join  the  detachment 
from  Mirzapur,  and  the  combined  force  was  to  await 
Popham's  arrival  before  attempting  to  enter  Benares, 
since  Chait  Singh's  troops  had  returned  to  Ramnagar, 
and  that  fortress  must  be  passed.  The  Mirzapur  force, 
amounting  to  four  companies  of  Sepoys,  one  of  artillery, 
and  one  of  Rangers  or  Chasseurs,1  was  commanded  by 
the  senior  officer,  Captain  Mayaffre,  of  the  Artillery. 
Disregarding  the  orders  he  had  received,  Mayaffre  led 
the  combined  detachments  straight  into  the  town  of 
Ramnagar,  the  houses  of  which  were  packed  with  Chait 
Singh's  troops.  Bullets  poured  from  every  roof  and 
window,  and  the  narrow  streets  witnessed  something 
like  a  second  massacre.  Mayaffre  and  the  officer  next 
in  seniority  were  killed,  and  Captain  Blair  drew  off  the 
remains  of  the  force  with  the  loss  of  a  hundred  and  three 

1  These  were  Frenchmen  who  had  entered  the  British  service  after  the  fall 
of  Pondichery,  and  had  been  formed  by  Coote  into  a  separate  corps,  from 
which  he  chose  his  guard,  much  to  the  disgust  of  the  rest  of  the  army. 


SERIES    II. — INTRODUCTION. 

men,  two  field -pieces  and  a  howitzer,  and  returned  to 
Chanar. 

This  second  disaster,  which  destroyed  the  good  effect 
produced  by  the  calm  resolution  of  the  Governor-General 
in  face  of  the  first,  placed  him  again  in  imminent  peril. 
Chait  Singh  had  early  sent  notice  of  his  escape  to  the 
Oudh  Begums,  with  whom  he  had  been  intriguing  before 
Hastings  left  Calcutta,  and  they  were  raising  troops  for 
his  support,  but  Mayaffre's  defeat  suggested  to  Ramjeea- 
wun  (the  spelling  is  that  of  Hastings),  the  commandant 
of  Ramnagar,  that  he  might  attack  without  waiting  for 
them  to  come  up.  Hastings  had  sent  out  orders  in 
duplicate  to  the  military  stations  to  send  reinforce- 
ments, and  to  Middleton  at  Lucknow  for  a  supply  of 
money,  but  most  of  these  were  either  intercepted  by  the 
enemy  or  destroyed  by  the  messengers  themselves  in  fear 
of  (  -pture.  Colonel  Blair  (father  of  the  Captain  Blair 
jus.  mentioned),  at  Chanar,  received  the  one  addressed 
to  him,  but  so  late  that  the  party  at  Mahadeo  Das's 
garden  waited  in  vain  throughout  August  2ist  for  the 
battalion  which  was  to  be  sent  to  their  rescue.  The  day 
was  one  of  indecision,  Hastings  standing  alone  against 
the  military  officers,  who  all  urged  a  retreat,  pointing  out 
the  weakness  of  their  force,  the  lack  of  provisions,  and  the 
difficulty  of  defending  the  place,  while  he  urged  the  dis- 
grace which  would  be  involved,  and  the  impossibility  of 
abandoning  the  wounded.  Spies  brought  in  continual 
reports  of  the  preparations  making  at  Ramnagar  for  the 
attack,  and  at  seven  in  the  evening  word  came  that  the 
enemy  were  actually  embarking  in  boats.  There  was  no 
sign  of  the  reinforcement  from  Chanar,  and  at  length  Hast- 
ings gave  way  and  ordered  the  evacuation  of  the  garden. 

Poor  Mr  Hodges,  who  had  already  been  driven  from 
the  Carnatic  by  Haidar's  incursion,  found  himself  now 
in  a  position  of  even  greater  peril,  for  irrespective  of  the 
imminent  arrival  of  the  force  from  Ramnagar,  there  was 
the  danger  that  the  inhabitants  of  the  town  would  attack 

I 


I3O  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

the  retreating  Europeans  as  they  passed  through  the 
streets.  Only  the  fact  that  the  retirement  was  so 
suddenly  decided  upon  and  so  promptly  carried  out 
prevented  this.  Hastings  was  able  to  provide  for  the 
safety  of  the  wounded  by  leaving  them  in  the  charge  of 
Sadat  AH,  brother  of  the  Nawab- Vizier,  who  was  in  the 
neighbourhood,  and  had  offered  to  come  to  his  support 
with  a  thousand  men.1  Prudence  forbade  the  acceptance 
of  this  offer,  but  the  prince  kept  the  wounded  safe  and 
treated  them  kindly.  The  troops  were  ordered  to  form 
into  their  respective  corps,  and  gain  the  open  country 
before  they  could  be  attacked  in  the  streets,  Hastings 
and  his  suite  marching  with  them  on  foot.  With  him 
went  also  Beneram  Pundit,  the  wakil  or  diplomatic  agent 
of  the  Berar  Rajah,  who  had  accompanied  him  from 
Calcutta  for  the  purposes  of  the  expected  interview  with 
the  Diwan  Dewagar  Pundit.  Beneram  and  his  brother, 
Bissumber  Pundit,  leaving  their  family  in  Benares  to  the 
mercy  of  Chait  Singh,  insisted  on  sharing  the  Governor- 
General's  flight,  attended  only  by  a  single  servant.  The 
mob  of  attendants  belonging  to  the  Europeans,  with  the 
palankins  and  baggage,  were  ordered  to  proceed  by  a 
different  road,  to  avoid  confusion.  Taking  a  wrong 
turning,  they  fell  in  with  Chait  Singh's  troops,  and 
Hastings  and  his  companions  lost  all  their  possessions, 
Hodges  alone,  as  he  tells  us,  saving  his  drawings  and  a 
few  changes  of  linen. 

Little  more  than  an  hour  after  starting,  the  Governor- 
General  met  the  expected  battalion  from  Chanar,  under 
Captain  McDougal,  who  turned  back  to  escort  him.  It 
was  a  hot  night  in  the  rains,  and  Chanar  was  twenty 
miles  off,  but  the  chief  danger  was  over  when  the  force 
was  successfully  extricated  from  the  town,  and  at  day- 
break on  the  22nd  the  whole  body  gained  the  river-bank 
opposite  the  fortress,  and  were  gradually  brought  across. 
Hastings  was  once  more  in  possession  of  a  standing-place 

1  Grand's  'Reminiscences.' 


SERIES    II. — MRS   HASTINGS   AT   PATNA.  13! 

from  which  to  move  his  world,  and  of  a  point  of  vantage 
from  which  he  could  at  once  assure  his  wife  of  his  own 
safety,  and  endeavour  to  secure  hers.  As  he  says  himself, 
one  side  of  his  mind  was  occupied  in  saving  British  India, 
the  other  in  thought  for  his  wife,  and  both  sides  are  re- 
flected in  the  letters  that  follow. 

In  this  series,  alone  of  the  three,  none  of  the  letters  in 
the  British  Museum  MS.  are  originals.  On  the  wrapper 
the  following  words  appear  in  very  faint  pencil,  in  a  lady's 
writing  (not  that  of  Mrs  Hastings)  : — 

"  This  Paper  contains  a  faithful  Copy  of  the  Letters 
convey'd  in  Quills  to  Mrs  Hastings  while  Mr  H.  was  at 
Chunar. 

"The  Originals  are  in  Mrs  Hastings'  possession, 
together  with  the  Quills  in  which  they  are  envelop'd." 

The  signature  is  illegible,  but  may  be  "  C.  Blair." 
The  original  letters  and  the  quills,  according  to  Mr  W. 
H.  Hutton,1  are  still  in  the  possession  of  Miss  Winter. 
The  copyist  is  careful  to  mention  that  in  several  cases 
the  letters  were  received  in  "  dupplicate." 

Mrs  Hastings  at  Patna. 

Thanks  largely  to  Hastings'  forethought  in  sending 
several  copies  of  each  letter  he  wrote  at  this  crisis,  very 
few  of  them  seem  to  have  altogether  missed  their  destina- 
tion, but  not  all  those  that  arrived  safely  have  been 
preserved.  The  letter  from  Captain  Sands  which  is  given 
below  shows  clearly  that  on  August  I7th,  after  the 
massacre  at  Shiwala  Ghat  and  the  flight  of  the  Rajah, 
Hastings  wrote  to  his  wife  an  account  of  what  had 
happened,  tranquillising  her  mind  by  assurances  of  the 
satisfactory  way  in  which  things  were  settling  down. 
This  letter  is  not  forthcoming  (though  we  can  guess  at 
its  contents  by  that  written  on  the  same  date  to  Wheler, 
and  printed  in  the  State  Papers),  and  the  first  of  those 

1  «  By  Thames  and  Cotswold.' 


132  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

written  from  Chanar  is  also  missing.  This,  as  we  learn 
from  the  '  Bengal  Gazette,'  was  despatched  on  the  22nd, 
on  which  day  the  fugitives  had  reached  Chanar  at  five  in 
the  morning,  and  the  kasid  who  carried  it  reached  Patna 
safely  on  the  night  of  the  27th.  Thus  the  letter  numbered 
I.  below  is  really  No.  II.  of  the  series,  or  No.  III.  if  that 
written  from  Benares  is  included  in  it. 

Captain  Sands'  letter  is  printed  here  on  account  of  the 
light  it  sheds  on  the  state  of  affairs  outside  Benares.  It 
will  be  observed  as  a  curious  fact  that  the  native  rumours 
asserting  that  Hastings  had  fled  to  Chanar  were  received 
at  Patna,  not  only  before  the  news  of  the  flight  itself 
could  have  arrived,  but  also  actually  before  it  had 
taken  place.  It  is  clear  that  the  move  was  expected, 
but  the  obstinate  resolution  of  Hastings  in  remaining 
at  Benares  so  much  longer  than  was  anticipated  prob- 
ably threw  the  enemy  off  their  guard,  and  kept  them 
from  cutting  off  his  retreat.  Be  it  remembered,  then, 
that  his  letter  of  the  i7th  was  received  on  the  2oth  at 
Patna,  whither  Mrs  Hastings  had  removed,  and  whence 
Sands  writes  the  next  morning. 

BANKIPOOR.     Tuesday  Morning.     2ist  August,  1781. 

DEAR  SIR, — Last  Night  I  was  relieved  by  the  Arrival 
of  your  Letter  of  the  I7th  to  Mrs  Hastings  from  more 
Anxiety  and  Uneasiness  of  Mind  than  ever  I  experienced 
in  my  Life  before.  In  the  Morning  Advices  were 
brought  me  from  several  Quarters  all  agreeing  that  a 
Quarrel  had  happened  between  you  and  Rajah  Cheyt 
Sing,  and  that  in  Consequence  thereof  an  Action  had 
ensued  with  the  Troops,  that  the  Success  on  our  part  was 
doubtful,  but  that  you  had  however  got  safe  into  Chunar. 
These  Reports  from  the  Natives  have  so  very  seldom 
Truth  in  them  that  I  was  not  willing  to  give  Credit  to 
them.  But,  on  the  other  hand  the  Dauks  for  two  days 
not  arriving  as  usual,  led  me  but  too  justly  to  believe 
that  there  might  be  some  Foundation  for  them.  In  this 


SERIES   II. — MRS   HASTINGS   AT   PATNA.  133 

Situation  I  was  much  distressed  in  what  Manner  to 
prepare  Mrs  H.  for  what  might  really  be  the  Case,  and 
to  prevent  at  the  same  Time  these  Reports  (as  they  were 
told),  from  coming  to  her  Ears.  She  had  herself  ex- 
pressed much  Uneasiness  at  not  hearing  for  so  many  days 
from  you,  and  by  some  Means  or  other  she  knew  that 
Cheyt  Sing  had  been  disposed  lately  to  be  refractory.  I 
therefore  thought  it  most  proper  to  tell  her  that  Reports 
were  that  the  Rajah  was  really  so  disposed,  and  that  you 
had  gone  up  to  Chunar,  as  being  a  more  convenient 
Situation  to  transact  your  Business  at,  and  that  in  Con- 
sequence of  moving  to  that  Place,  the  Dauks  had  not 
been  regularly  dispatch'd.  At  the  same  Time  I  watched 
her  all  Day,  and  kept  every  Body  from  her,  whom  I 
thought  might  tell  the  real  Accounts  we  had  received. 
By  my  acting  in  this  Manner,  it  saved  her  from  an 
Anxiety,  which  I  am  sure  no  Frame  possessed  with  her 
Feelings  could  have  supported.  When  your  Letter 
arrived,  to  prepare  her  for  what  She  might  read,  I  told 
her  what  the  Reports  had  been.  She  read  it  with  Com- 
posure, and  seemed  much  at  Ease  and  in  Spirits,  for 
about  half  an  Hour  after;  but  her  Mind  was  so  agitated 
with  the  Thoughts  of  the  Danger  you  had  escaped,  and 
of  that  which  you  might  still  be  in,  that  it  broke  forth  all 
at  once,  and  She  remained  for  about  a  Quarter  of  an 
Hour  in  an  Histeria.  She  was  carried  to  Bed  directly, 
and  Mrs  Motte  has  this  Moment  given  me  the  very  pleas- 
ing Information  that  She  has  had  an  exceeding  good 
Night's  rest  and  is  pretty  well  this  Morning.  As  the 
Dauk  sets  out  from  hence  at  nine  in  the  Morning,  which 
may  be  too  early  to  write  as  She  intends,  I  thought  it 
would  be  satisfactory  to  you  to  know  how  She  did,  after 
the  Disagreeable  Advices  from  Benares.  —  I  am  ever, 
Dear  Sir,  with  unfeigned  Gratitude  and  Attachment, 
Your  devoted  and  faithful  Servant, 

WM.  SANDS. 
The  Hon'bl.  W.  Hastings,  Esqre. 


134  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

It  is  uncertain  when  Mrs  Hastings  had  moved  to 
Bankipur  (which,  says  the  Hon.  Emily  Eden  in  '  Up 
the  Country,'  is  "  a  sort  of  Battersea  to  Patna "),  but 
it  was  probably  on  the  arrival  of  the  first  alarming 
rumours  as  to  her  husband's  safety.  She  was  staying 
at  the  house  of  Mr  Euan  Law,  the  senior  civil  servant, 
and  while  there  it  fell  to  her  to  take  a  prominent  part  in 
the  crisis  of  the  moment.  The  effect  of  Hastings'  re- 
assuring letter  of  the  I7th  soon  wore  off,  as  fresh  reports 
came  pouring  in,  and  it  became  clear  that  some  second 
disaster  had  occurred.  The  native  author  of  the  Se'ir- 
ul-Mutaqkarin  says  it  was  universally  believed  that  the 
Governor-General  had  been  killed  in  trying  to  escape 
from  Benares,  while  as  far  down  the  river  as  Murshida- 
bad  express  messengers  arrived  bearing  the  testimony  of 
alleged  eye-witnesses  who  asserted  that  they  had  seen  his 
head  and  right  hand  suspended  over  the  gateway  of  Chait 
Singh's  fortress  of  Bijaigarh.  The  Sepoys  at  the  different 
stations  became  insubordinate  and  deserted  in  large  num- 
bers, discontented  zamindars  began  a  correspondence 
with  Chait  Singh,  the  Oudh  Begums  proceeded  to  acts 
of  open  hostility,  and  in  Lucknow  the  Resident,  Middle- 
ton,  and  the  Nawab- Vizier's  French  commander,  Colonel 
Martin  or  Martine,  were  obliged  to  fortify  their  quarters 
and  plant  cannon  in  readiness  for  defence.  The  European 
inhabitants  of  Patna  believed  everything  they  heard,  and 
fell  into  a  piteous  state  of  panic.  Not  twenty  years  had 
elapsed  since  the  Patna  Massacre,  when  English  men, 
women,  and  children  to  the  number  of  two  hundred  had 
been  slaughtered  in  cold  blood  by  the  troops  of  Kasim 
AH  Khan,  under  the  orders  of  the  renegade  Samru,  and 
the  well  into  which  their  bodies  had  been  thrown  was  to 
that  generation  what  the  Well  at  Cawnpore  is  to  this  one. 
The  prospect  of  a  second  massacre  seems  to  have  turned 
all  hearts  to  water,  and  the  proposal  was  actually  made 
to  evacuate  the  settlement,  and  take  refuge  down  the 
river.  No  enemy  was  in  sight,  but  the  zamindars  of 


SERIES   II. — LETTER   I.  135 

Behar  were  disaffected,  and  the  result  must  have  been 
destruction  to  the  garrisons  higher  up  the  river,  and  to 
Hastings  and  his  companions.  This  threatened  flight 
Mrs  Hastings  succeeded  in  preventing,  inducing  the 
Company's  servants  not  only  to  remain  at  their  posts,  but 
to  keep  their  wives  and  children  with  them,  merely  indi- 
cating the  Killa,  or  citadel,  which  was  provisioned  and 
placed  in  a  state  of  defence,  as  the  place  of  refuge  for 
which  all  were  to  make  in  case  of  an  alarm.  The  details 
of  this  personal  triumph  on  the  part  of  a  woman  and 
a  foreigner  are  unfortunately  wanting.  In  a  letter  to 
Scott,1  Hastings  says  that  he  dare  not  write  them  himself, 
lest  he  should  exaggerate,  but  he  has  directed  Captain 
Sands  to  do  so,  putting  him  on  his  honour  to  relate 
everything  exactly  as  it  occurred.  He  appears  to  have 
kept  no  copy  of  Captain  Sands'  account,  and  all  en- 
quiries have  failed  to  trace  the  letter  itself.  It  was  to  be 
shown  to  Hastings'  confidential  friends  at  home,  and  may 
therefore  have  been  copied,  or  even  privately  printed, 
and  it  is  to  be  hoped  that  it  may  yet  be  discovered.  In 
the  last  letter  which  Hastings  dictated  to  his  faithful 
friend  Colonel  Toone,  he  refers  thus  to  the  incident : — 
"  In  one  instance  especially,  when  she  was  in  the  city 
of  Patna,  and  I  in  a  seat  of  greater  danger,  she  proved 
the  personal  means  of  guarding  one  province  of  (the 
Company's)  Indian  dominion  from  impending  ruin  by  her 
own  independent  fortitude  and  presence  of  mind,  varying 
with  equal  effect  as  every  variation  of  event  called  upon 
her  for  fresh  exertions  of  it."  2 


LETTER   I. 

In  explanation  of  the  shortness  of  the  letters  of  this 
series,   it   must   be   remembered   that    the   originals   are 
written  in  a  very  minute  hand  upon  slips  of  the  thinnest 
1  Gleig,  II.  451.  2  Gleig,  III.  521. 


136  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

paper,  so  as  to  be  easily  rolled  up  and  pushed  inside  a 
quill,  which  was  carried  in  the  ear  of  the  messenger,  and 
escaped  discovery  from  the  fact  that  it  seemed  to  court 
rather  than  to  avoid  notice.  The  same  expedient  was 
adopted  by  the  defenders  of  Lucknow  in  1857,  with  the 
additional  precaution,  necessitated  by  the  more  general 
knowledge  of  English  among  the  natives,  of  writing  the 
message  in  Greek  characters.  The  first  letter  sent  from 
Chanar  was  written,  it  will  be  remembered,  on  August 
22nd,  and  Letter  III.  shows  that  Mrs  Hastings  answered 
it  on  the  28th,  the  day  after  she  received  it.  It  is  prob- 
able that  Hastings  sent  off  these  little  missives  day  after 
day,  with  much  the  same  wording,  in  the  hope  that  one 
or  two  of  them  might  get  through. 

Of  CHANAR  the  most  detailed  description  left  us  is  that 
of  Bishop  Heber  in  1824.  He  savs>  "  Its  fortress,  which 
is  of  great  extent,  formerly  of  first-rate  importance,  and 
still  in  good  repair,  covers  the  crest  and  sides  of  a  large 
and  high  rock,  with  several  successive  enclosures  of  walls 
and  towers,  the  lowest  of  which  have  their  base  washed 
by  the  Ganges."  He  refers,  as  do  Hastings'  companions, 
to  the  great  heat  of  the  place,  caused  by  the  absence  of 
shade  "and  the  reflection  and  glare  of  the  light  grey 
rock,  the  light  grey  castle,  the  light  grey  sand,  the  white 
houses,  and  the  hot  bright  river."  For  the  defence  of  the 
fort,  standing  on  an  isolated  rock,  "  bordered  on  every 
side  by  a  very  awful  precipice,"  the  garrison  relied  chiefly 
on  a  large  supply  of  stone  cylinders,  "  pretty  much  like 
garden-rollers,"  which  would  be  rolled  down  upon  an 
attacking  foe.  The  projected  use  of  these  unconven- 
tional missiles  was  perhaps  owing  to  the  fact  that  in 
Heber's  day  the  fort  had  been  largely  denuded  of  its 
artillery  for  the  purpose  of  the  Burmese  War,  while 
the  garrison  was  chiefly  composed  of  invalids,  both 
Europeans  and  Sepoys.  One  of  the  former  had  fought 
under  Clive,  so  that  it  is  quite  probable  that  among 
them  there  were  others  who  would  have  remembered 


SERIES    II. — LETTER   II.  137 

Hastings  and  the  flight  from  Benares.  Like  Hodges, 
the  Bishop  mentions  the  Hindu  holy  place  enclosed  in 
the  fort,  containing  only  a  slab  of  black  marble,  on  which 
the  Deity  was  supposed  to  rest  perpetually,  save  between 
the  hours  of  six  and  nine  in  the  morning,  when  he  visited 
Benares,  at  which  time  alone  the  fortress  could  be  cap- 
tured. 

CHUNAR  :  26th  August. 

I  am  at  Chunar,  safe  and  in  perfect  Health.  I  entreat 
you  to  return  to  Calcutta.  Be  confident,  my  Beloved. 
All  is  now  well,  and  will  be  better.  I  have  no  Fears  but 
for  you.  W.  H. 


LETTER   II. 

When  this  letter  was  written,  Hastings  was  still  a 
refugee,  unable  to  determine  whether  his  letters  to  the 
different  military  stations  had  been  received.  For  all  he 
knew,  the  revolt  might  be  general,  and  the  garrisons  able 
merely  to  maintain  their  ground,  as  the  native  reports 
declared.  This  hypothesis  must  have  been  strengthened 
by  the  difficulty  of  obtaining  money,  due  to  the  total, 
though  temporary,  destruction  of  credit.  The  Chanar 
garrison,  augmented  by  the  remains  of  the  Mirzapur 
detachment  and  the  Sepoys  who  had  arrived  with 
Hastings,  was  actually  in  distress  for  provisions,  and 
Colonel  Blair  could  only,  by  the  exercise  of  extreme 
pressure,  obtain  2500  rupees  from  the  native  bankers 
of  the  place,  who  had  grown  rich  under  the  protection 
of  the  fortress.  Hastings  mentions  that  he  told  Beneram 
Pundit  of  his  difficulties,  more  as  a  mark  of  confidence 
than  because  he  thought  he  could  give  him  any  help,  but 
"  He  instantly  and  with  some  eagerness  replied  that  his 
family  at  Benares  were  in  possession  of  a  lack  of  rupees 
collected  in  specie,  of  which  he  made  me  the  instant 


138  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

offer,  proposing  that  a  battalion  of  sepoys  should  be  sent 
to  receive  and  bring  it  away,  his  brother  at  the  same 
time  offering  to  accompany  the  escort  and  to  deliver 
the  money.  I  thankfully  accepted  the  offer,  and  should 
have  adopted  the  mode  which  they  recommended  for 
bringing  away  the  money  had  I  not  been  fearful  of 
exposing  their  family  to  the  vengeance  of  Cheyt  Sing, 
.  .  .  neither  could  I  at  that  time  devise  any  other 
contrivance  to  avail  myself  of  assistance  which  had 
been  thus  generously  pressed  upon  me."  1  In  spite  of 
all  his  discouragements,  however,  Hastings  maintained 
a  bold  front.  While  he  was  still  at  Benares,  he  had 
received  from  Chait  Singh  letters  expressing  slight 
concern  for  what  had  passed,  and  offering  indefinite 
professions  of  fidelity,  but  had  left  them  unanswered, 
and  the  Nawab-Vizier,  who  was  approaching  to  pay 
his  respects,  was  begged  to  return  to  Lucknow.  The 
Sarkar  must  not  even  seem  to  be  indebted  for  safety  to 
a  native  prince  and  his  army,  however  friendly. 

BAUGULPOOR  or  Boglepore  (Bhagalpur),  was  the  scene 
of  Cleveland's  labours  for  the  Paharis.  Hodges  describes 
the  situation  of  his  house,  built  on  an  elevated  island, 
four  miles  across,  with  the  Ganges  on  one  side  of  it,  and 
a  nullah  on  the  other.  (It  must  be  remembered  that  he 
saw  it  in  the  rains.)  The  country,  he  says,  was  park-like, 
with  splendid  isolated  trees  and  sylvan  glades.  Forbes 
describes  the  house  as  a  large  and  beautiful  building  on 
the  Italian  model,  standing  at  the  head  of  a  lawn  which 
sloped  to  the  river  and  was  planted  with  flowering 
shrubs.  Close  at  hand  was  a  paddock  inhabited  by 
elks  and  other  curious  deer. 

The  reference  to  STEPHEN  SULIVAN  is,  of  course,  a 
kindly  message  for  Mrs  Sulivan,  whose  anxiety  for  her 
husband's  safety  was  one  of  the  things  that  had  brought 
about  the  breach  between  her  and  Mrs  Hastings.  Their 
differences  first  became  acute  at  Monghyr,  and  Mrs 

1  State  Papers. 


SERIES    II.  —  LETTER   III.  139 

Sulivan  complains  bitterly  of  the  treatment  she  received 
at  Patna,  where  Mrs  Hastings  left  her  out  in  the  cold, 
never  communicating  to  her  the  news  she  received.  It 
is  easy  to  understand  how  the  younger  lady's  pre- 
occupation with  a  comparatively  obscure  individual 
would  grate  upon  the  woman  all  of  whose  thoughts 
were  engrossed  with  Caesar  and  his  fortunes,  and  on 
the  other  hand,  how  unkind  and  unsympathetic  Mrs 
Hastings  must  have  appeared  to  Mrs  Sulivan. 


CHUNAR.     zjtk  August. 

MY  MARIAN,  —  I  am  here  in  perfect  health  and  safety, 
my  only  present  Fear  is  for  you.  I  desire  to  have  no 
Fears.  I  beg  you  will  return  to  Baugulpoor  and  as  you 
shall  be  advised  to  Calcutta.  Sulivan  eats,  drinks  and 
is  merry.  My  whole  party  is  well.  Be  confident  :  no 
Harm  will  befall  me.  My  Danger  was  great,  but  it  is 
all  past.  May  God  bless  and  support  you,  my  most 
beloved.  I  feel  and  have  felt  much  for  you,  and  am 
yet  unhappy  till  I  know  where  you  are.  Your  ever 
most  faithful  and  affectionate  W.  H. 


LETTER    III. 

Between  the  despatch  of  this  letter  and  the  preceding 
one  the  situation  had  materially  improved.  Lieutenant 
Polhill  arrived  at  Chanar  from  Allahabad  on  August  27th, 
with  six  companies  of  the  Nawab- Vizier's  bodyguard, 
and  on  the  3Oth  made  a  daring  expedition  to  seize  a 
large  store  of  grain  at  Sikr,  three  miles  away.  The 
village  was  held  by  a  considerable  body  of  troops,  but 
these  were  dispersed  by  Polhill  without  loss,  and  the 
grain  secured,  which  relieved  Chanar  from  the  fear  of 
starvation.  This  success  was  the  more  important  that 


140  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

most  of  the  Governor- General's  orders  to  the  military 
stations  had  miscarried,  owing  to  "  the  vigilance  of  the 
people  who  are  stationed  in  every  part  of  the  zemin- 
darry  to  intercept  my  letters."  No  despatch  reached 
Colonel  Morgan  at  Cawnpore,  on  whose  speedy  arrival 
Hastings  was  counting,  but  on  August  2gth  he  received 
the  native  accounts  of  what  had  taken  place,  and  judging, 
as  Mrs  Hastings  and  Captain  Sands  had  done,  from 
the  interruption  of  the  daks,  that  these  were  justified, 
he  embarked  as  large  a  force  as  possible,  comprising 
Sepoys  and  European  infantry  and  artillery,  and  sent 
them  off  on  his  own  responsibility.  On  the  3ist 
Hastings  writes  to  Wheler,  trusting  his  letter  to  a  light 
boat  which  would  be  carried  down  by  the  combined 
influence  of  the  stream  and  a  strong  west  wind  too 
quickly  to  be  intercepted,  that  he  is  confident  Morgan 
will  take  this  course,  and  that  a  body  of  horse  from 
Patna  is  already  on  its  way.  On  the  3rd  of  September 
occurred  the  success  mentioned  in  the  letter,  when 
Major  Popham,  who  was  encamped  on  the  plain  east- 
wards of  the  fort,  detailed  Captain  Blair  with  his  Sepoy 
battalion,  two  companies  of  Popham's  own  grenadiers, 
and  two  guns,  to  beat  up  the  enemy's  quarters  at  Patita. 
Blair's  approach  was  expected,  and  he  succeeded  only 
by  detaching  his  grenadiers  to  make  an  attack  on  the 
guns  from  the  rear,  but  he  was  able  to  seize  or  destroy 
all  the  enemy's  stores  with  the  exception  of  a  quantity 
of  shot.  The  four  guns  captured  had  been  brought  from 
Ramnagar  to  strengthen  the  position,  and  in  writing  to 
Wheler  Hastings  remarks  that  though  of  native  manu- 
facture, they  were  almost  equal  to  the  British  weapons, 
their  cartridges  and  portfires  as  good,  and  their  powder 
much  better.1 

The  military  assemblage  at  Chanar  was  not  exempt 
from  personal  jealousies.  It  appears  that  Hastings  had 
ordered  Popham  to  encamp  outside  the  fortress  in  order 

1  State  Papers. 


SERIES    II. — LETTER   III.  14! 

to  avoid  a  conflict  of  authority  between  him  and  Colonel 
Blair,  but  the  Colonel  put  forth  immediately  a  claim  to 
command  Popham  at  least  as  long  as  he  was  under  the 
Chanar  guns,  and  it  was  necessary  for  the  Governor- 
General  definitely  to  place  the  junior  officer  in  in- 
dependent command. 

MAJOR  MOSES  CRAWFURD  (Crawford  in  the  State 
Papers)  was  in  command  of  the  body  of  cavalry  de- 
spatched to  Hastings'  assistance  by  Colonel  Ahmuty 
at  Bankipur. 

The  NAWAB-VIZIER,  who  had  been  begged  to  return 
to  Lucknow,  yielded  to  the  request  SQ  far  as  to  send 
back  his  army,  but  came  on  himself  with  a  small 
escort  —  a  hundred  horse  and  four  companies  of  his 
bodyguard  —  and  his  personal  attendants.  Touched  by 
this  proof  of  fidelity,  Hastings  wrote  to  offer  him  a 
warm  welcome. 

MRS  WHITE  was  the  wife  of  Major  White,  one  of 
the  officers  of  the  Chanar  garrison,  who  had  been  on 
a  visit  to  Benares  when  the  first  outbreak  occurred. 
Mrs  White  was  a  cousin  of  Hastings.  There  is  a  letter 
from  her  in  the  Correspondence,  artlessly  confessing 
that  she  is  rather  hazy  as  to  the  exact  degree  of  the 
relationship,1  but  asking  for  promotion  for  her  husband 
on  the  strength  of  it ! 

The  allusion  to  C.  (or  S.)  SULLIVAN  at  the  end  of 
the  letter  is  unexplained.  It  may  possibly  refer  to 
Stephen  Sulivan. 

CHANAR.     %th  September. 

(Of  this  Letter  there  is  a  Dupplicate.) 

MY  MOST  BELOVED  MARIAN, — I  thank  God  that  my 
first  letter  from  hence  reached  you,  and  that  I  this 

1  The  connection  was  evidently  through  Mrs  White's  mother,  who  she  says 
was  a  Mosley,  and  her  grandmother,  a  Matthews,  who  was  a  Worcestershire 
lady,  related  to  the  Doveys,  the  Burches,  and  the  Blaneys,  but  she  makes  no- 
attempt  to  trace  it  exactly. 


142  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

morning  received  yours  of  the  28th  in  answer  to  it. 
It  is  your  first  letter  and  I  shall  continue  to  read  it, 
till  I  get  another.  It  has  relieved  my  Fears  but  not 
removed  them.  I  hope  you  have  left  Patna ;  but  do 
not  stay  at  Baugulpoor.  Go  on  to  Murshedabad.  It 
is  necessary  to  my  peace  of  mind  and  you  may  easily 
return  when  these  Troubles,  and  the  consequent  Alarms, 
are  past.  You  shall  hear  from  me,  or  of  me,  daily.  I 
expect  two  Regiments  of  Seepoys,  40  artillery,  and  two 
companies  of  European  Infantry  hourly  from  Cawnpoor ; 
another  Regiment  from  Lucnow;  Major  Crawfurd  is 
near  and  I  have  already  a  Force  here,  which  has  been 
proved  superior  to  the  Enemy's  whole  Force,  though 
too  weak  in  numbers  to  hazard  the  Commencement  of 
our  intended  operations.  On  the  3rd,  Captain  Blair 
attacked  and  defeated  a  large  body  of  the  best  Troops 
at  Pateeta,  5  miles  off,  took  all  the  Guns  (4)  Tumbrils 
(4)  and  Ammunition  and  cleared  the  Field  not  without 
Loss  on  our  Side.  Our  strength  was  550  men;  theirs 
above  4000. — We  shall  risk  no  more,  but  wait  the  Junction 
of  all  our  Forces. — The  Nabob  is  near.  I  am  in  perfect 
Health;  Sulivan  is  and  has  been  at  all  Times  well  and 
in  laughing  Spirits. 

Be  confident,  my  Marian.  I  will  return  to  you 
triumphant.  May  God  protect  you.  Amen ! 

Yours  ever,  ever  W.  H. 

P.S.  .  I  use  this  Blank  to  tell  you,  that  I  never  loved 
you,  as  I  love  you  in  the  midst  of  my  greatest  Troubles 
and  have  suffered  more  in  my  Fears  for  you,  than,  I 
hope,  I  ever  shall  for  myself. 

P.P.S.  .  All  my  Party  are  well.     I  am  greatly  indebted 


SERIES   II. — LETTER   IV.  143 

to  Coll.  Blair  for  his  attention  and  to  Mrs  White  for 
the  Clothes  now  on  my  back.  This  is  the  Climate  of 
Paradise.  I  will  remember  C:  Sullivan. 


LETTER   IV. 

Hastings  is  now  made  happy  by  the  assurance  that 
his  wife  has  left  Patna,  and  is  in  comparative  safety  at 
Bhagalpur.  Her  departure  seems  to  have  delivered  over 
the  minds  of  the  Bankipur  residents  to  fresh  panic.  On 
the  night  of  September  nth,  a  village  in  the  neighbour- 
hood was  accidentally  set  on  fire  by  the  torch-bearers 
accompanying  an  important  Hindu  marriage  procession, 
the  noise  and  excitement  inseparable  from  which  added 
to  the  effect  produced  by  the  conflagration.  Believing 
that  Chait  Singh's  army  was  upon  them,  the  Europeans 
fled  into  the  Killa  pell-mell,  in  their  night  attire,  to  the 
intense  amusement  of  the  people  who  read  of  their  terrors 
in  safety  at  Calcutta. 

These  alarms  afford  a  curious  illustration  of  the  tend- 
ency of  the  human  mind  to  believe  bad  news  rather  than 
good,  for  since  the  affair  at  Patita  Chait  Singh  was  far 
too  busy  providing  for  his  own  safety  to  think  of  sparing 
any  part  of  his  army  to  make  a  wild  raid  on  distant 
Patna.  In  the  letter  to  Wheler  which  Hastings  enclosed 
in  this  one  to  his  wife,  and  which  she  was  to  copy  and 
send  on,  he  mentions  that  "  the  Raja  has  made  repeated 
overtures  for  peace,  less  humble  in  terms  than  in  the 
mode,  but  I  have  declined  to  answer  him  or  even  to 
temporize." l  The  Cawnpore  detachment  has  arrived,  a 
regiment  from  Lucknow  has  passed  Allahabad  and  is 
hourly  expected,  Crawford  and  his  body  of  horse  are 
ready  to  join  Popham  as  soon  as  he  moves.  The  Nawab- 
Vizier  has  arrived  on  the  opposite  bank  of  the  river, 
where  Hastings  has  visited  him,  and  he  proposes  to 

1  State  Papers. 


144  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

cross  and  encamp  close  at  hand  with  his  small  escort. 
Popham  is  to  begin  operations  on  the  I4th.  The  tre- 
mendous decision  must  have  been  already  taken,  to 
which  Thompson  alludes  twenty  -  two  years  later  in 
mentioning  "the  only  but  emphatic  Words  which 
Popham  uttered  when  he  came  out  from  that  Con- 
ference in  which  you  had  given  him  your  Plan  and 
Instructions  for  the  Attack  of  all  Chiet  Sing's  Forts 
at  once.  They  were  these  — '  He  should  have  been  a 
General.1 '  The  devotion  of  the  army  to  Hastings, 
which  was  evidenced  by  the  extraordinary  promptitude 
and  heartiness  of  their  efforts  to  succour  him,  was 
justified  by  his  confidence  in  them. 

Sir  Elijah  and  Lady  Impey,  leaving  their  children  in 
Calcutta,  had  been  making  a  tour  through  Upper  Bengal, 
partly  for  health  and  recreation,  says  their  son,  partly  in 
order  to  inspect  the  district  courts  newly  established 
under  the  presidency  of  the  Chief  Justice.  They  met 
Mrs  Hastings  at  Monghyr,  went  with  her  to  Patna,  and 
were  now  her  fellow-guests  under  Cleveland's  hospitable 
roof  at  Bhagalpur. 

MAJOR  EATON  is  found  in  Series  III.  commanding  the 
troops  at  Buxar.  His  name  is  not  in  the  list  of  officers 
who  were  at  Benares  with  the  Governor-General,  so  that 
he  must  have  arrived  with  the  detachment  from  Cawn- 
pore,  and  have  been  acting  as  an  additional  secretary  in 
view  of  the  heavy  work  entailed  by  the  sending  of  all 
letters  in  triplicate  at  least. 

The  Nawab-Vizier's  feeling  for  Hastings  was  of  a  per- 
sonal rather  than  a  political  nature.  He  seems  to  have 
conceived  a  kind  of  romantic  attachment  for  "  the  Nabob 
Amaud-ud-Dowlah,"  as  he  calls  him,1  using  his  native 
name,  "  the  Prop  of  the  State,"  and  as  long  as  he  was 
subject  to  his  personal  influence  he  did  well.  Once  away 
from  that,  his  unworthy  favourites  quickly  regained  their 
power. 

1  State  Papers,  where  it  is  misprinted  Amand,  and  see  infra  pp.  230,  285. 


SERIES   II. — LETTER   IV.  145 

CHUNAR — nth  of  September. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  was  going  to  write  to  you, 
when  I  received  Yours  of  the  3rd.  You  have  made  me 
happy,  notwithstanding  a  Mixture  of  Pain  and  Appre- 
hension. Do  not,  my  beloved,  yield  to  your  fears  or 
distrust  the  good  Influence  that  guards  and  supports  your 
Husband,  that  Influence  which  prompted  me,  without 
apparent  Reason,  to  leave  you,  my  Heart's  Treasure,  in  a 
Land  of  Safety.  How  happy  for  us  both! — Tell  Sir 
Elijah  that  I  wrote  to  him  early  from  Benaris  two 
Letters,  one  of  great  Consequence,  and  I  desired  Major 
Eaton  lately  to  write  to  him.  May  God  bless  him  for  his 
Kindness  to  you.  Tell  him  I  thank  him. — Read  the 
enclosed  and  send  it  to  Mr  Wheler.  Copy  it,  shew  it  to 
our  Friends.  I  think  you  may  remain  at  Baugulpoor, 
but  do  not,  if  you  hear  the  least  alarm.  You  judged 
wisely.  Exert  that  Fortitude  which  you  possess  and 
do  not  suffer  any  Thoughts  of  me  to  distress  your  Tran- 
quillity or  affect  your  Health.  I  never  was  better  than  I 
am,  and  have  been  in  all  my  Troubles,  and  am  happy  to 
find  by  this  severe  Trial,  that  I  have  a  Mind  which  can 
accommodate  itself  to  every  Situation,  to  all  but  one.  I 
can  bear  every  Affliction  of  which  you  are  not  the  Sub- 
ject. Sullivan  is  well  and  hearty.  I  deputed  him  yester- 
day as  my  Ambassador  to  the  Nabob,  who  made  many 
Enquiries  after  you.  Everyone  knows  the  Language 
which  will  please  me  most. 

Adieu,  my  Beloved.  W.  H. 


K 


146  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 


LETTER   V. 

When  this  Letter  was  written,  the  preparations  for  the 
advance  were  almost  complete.  On  September  i3th 
Major  Roberts  and  his  regiment  had  arrived  from  Luck- 
now,  bringing  a  lakh  of  rupees  sent  by  Middleton,  which 
was  distributed  among  the  Sepoys,  whose  pay  was  four 
months  in  arrears.  Hastings  had  visited  their  camp 
frequently  and  reviewed  them,  listening  to  their  com- 
plaints and  promising  to  relieve  their  necessities  as  soon 
as  possible.  The  "noble  behaviour"  of  the  Nawab- 
Vizier,  to  which  he  refers  in  the  letter,  enabled  him  to  do 
this  even  more  effectually.  Asaf-u-Daula  presented  him 
with  the  sum  of  ten  lakhs  of  Oudh  sicca  rupees,  in  bills, 
as  a  personal  gift,  and  this  relieved  him  from  his  most 
pressing  difficulties.  The  money  was  applied  to  the 
payment  of  the  troops  and  other  imminent  needs,  but 
Hastings  cherished  the  hope  that  the  Court  of  Directors 
would  ultimately  refund  it  to  him  as  an  act  of  grace,  in 
view  of  his  services  in  suppressing  the  rebellion  and 
securing  a  largely  increased  tribute  from  Benares.  In 
this  expectation  he  was  disappointed. 

The  movement  against  Chait  Singh's  fortresses  began 
the  night  after  this  letter  was  written,  Major  Crabb, 
who  commanded  the  Cawnpore  detachment,  marching  at 
10  P.M.  by  a  roundabout  route  against  Latifpur,  and 
Popham  at  2  A.M.  against  Patita.  It  was  the  general 
expectation  that  Ramnagar  would  be  the  first  object  of 
attack,  and  Chait  Singh,  who  was  at  Latifpur,  believed 
himself  comparatively  safe.  Besides  these  three  fort- 
resses, he  was  holding  Satisgarh,  near  Ramnagar,  and — 
as  his  last  line  of  defence — the  great  hill-fort  of  Bijaigarh. 

It  is  pleasant  to  learn  that  Mrs  Hastings  never  forgot 
her  husband's  obligation  to  BENERAM  PUNDIT  and  his 
brother.  In  1820,  Bissumber  Pundit's  widow  writes  to 
her  through  John  Palmer  to  ask  for  her  help.  Hastings 
had  given  "  the  lease  of  the  Maufee  or  exempted  pur- 


SERIES    II. — LETTER  V.  147 

gunnah  of  Buhreeabad "  to  the  two  brothers,1  and  the 
Governor-General  and  Court  of  Directors  now  have  under 
consideration  the  resumption  of  all  such  leases.  The 
family  have  no  other  means  of  support,  and  the  widow 
begs  that  Mrs  Hastings  will  exert  her  influence  at  the 
India  House,  as  she  has  done  on  a  former  occasion  (pre- 
sumably through  Toone),  that  the  grant  may  be  continued 
to  them. 

CHUNAR.     i$th  September. 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN,— My  last  was  dated  the  nth 
with  the  Dupplicate  of  the  8th  originally  taken.  I  have 
answered  yours  of  the  3rd.  All  our  forces  are  assembled, 
except  Major  Crawford,  and  him  I  expect  in  2  days.  The 
Nabob  has  been  some  Days  here.  He  has  behaved 
nobly.  We  have  now  a  fine  Army,  and  greater  than  Need, 
but  that  it  is  prudent  to  err  on  the  surest  Side.  Our 
Officers  are  zealous  and  the  Men  attached,  and  the 
Leader  an  established  Character.  You  will  hear  the 
worst  reports.  Believe  none,  and  be  confident  that  in  a 
few  Days  all  will  be  decidedly  well.  I  am  in  Health  as 
usual.  Sulivan  if  possible  better  and  all  our  Party  is 
well.  I  have  one  Soul  wholly  engrossed  by  public 
Affairs,  and  another  that  by  Night  and  Day  is  ever 
employed  on  my  dearest  Marian.  I  still  hope  to  see 
you  in  another  Month.  Do  not  be  uneasy,  if  you  do 
not  receive  frequent  Letters  from  me,  3  in  4  miscarry. 
Compliments.  Adieu,  my  most  Beloved,  W.  H. 

P.S.  .  Beneram  Pundit  and  his  Brother  have  shewn  an 
uncommon  Attachment  to  me.  You  will  like  them  for  it. 
I  dread  the  Effects  of  the  Weather  on  your  Health. 

1  Hastings  writes  to  Charles  D'Oyly  (without  date): — "When  I  was  at 
Benares  in  1780,  I  bestowed  a  Piece  of  land  in  Gazeepoor  on  Beneram  Pundit. 
...  If  ...  the  family  .  .  .  have  been  deprived  of  this  property,  I  will 
entreat  you  to  put  them  in  the  way  to  obtain  the  restitution  of  it." 


148  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 


LETTER  VI. 

Major  Crawford,  coming  from  Patna,  was  able  to  carry 
longer  letters  than  it  had  been  safe  to  entrust  to  native 
messengers,  and  Mrs  Hastings  had  taken  advantage  of 
the  opportunity.  Sir  Elijah  had  also  written,  giving  a 
full  account  of  her  success  in  infusing  courage  into  the 
Europeans  at  Bankipur.  His  letter,  like  that  written 
later  to  Scott  by  Captain  Sands,  is  unfortunately  missing, 
but  its  tenor  may  be  guessed  from  the  expressions  used 
by  Sands  in  the  following  : — 

BAUGULPOOR.    yd  October,  1781. 

MY  DEAR  SIR, — As  Mrs  Hastings  wrote  you  by  every 
Opportunity  that  offered  during  the  time  the  Communica- 
tion by  the  Dauk  was  shut  up,  I  could  have  nothing  to 
say  to  you,  which  would  have  been  a  sufficient  Reason 
for  hazarding  the  Cossids  being  detected  by  giving  un- 
necessary Letters  to  them. — This  I  offer  as  an  Apology 
for  my  Silence,  though  I  am  convinced  you  do  not  desire 
one  from  me. — To  say  only  that  I  was  affected  by  the 
Dangers  you  have  undergone,  would  be  merely  to  declare 
that  I  have  Feelings. — I  felt  more  than  I  can  describe,  or 
shall  avow. — Mrs  Hastings  is  such  a  Woman  as  I  really 
believe  no  Country  ever  before  produced,  or  will  again. — 
She  is,  without  a  Compliment,  my  dear  Sir,  the  Glory  of 
Sex. — I  am  sure  She  is  the  Admiration  of  ours,  by  all  that 
know  her,  and  those  in  particular,  who  have  seen  her 
within  these  six  weeks  past. — So  much  Resolution  and 
Firmness  of  Mind  were  never  surely  united  in  one  before. 
— I  would  attempt  to  describe  her  Heroism  to  you,  but  so 
far  am  I  from  being  equal  to  it,  it  is  a  Task  the  ablest 
Pen  would  find  difficult  to  accomplish.  She  writes  you 
to  day. — I  have  therefore  nothing  to  add  but  my  Congrat- 
ulations on  the  happy  Termination  to  the  Troubles  you 
have  been  involved  in,  and  to  assure  you,  my  dear  Sir, 


SERIES   II. — LETTER  VI.  149 

that  I  ever  am  with  the  most  unfeigned  Gratitude  and 
Regard, 

Your  very  faithful  and  devoted  Servant, 

WM.  SANDS. 

It  is  clear  that  Mrs  Hastings  found  the  Impeys  more 
agreeable  travelling  companions  than  Mrs  Sulivan.  That 
unfortunate  lady  complains  that  she  was  not  told  of  Mrs 
Hastings'  intended  return  to  Bhagalpur,  and  that  she 
was  left  at  Mr  Law's  house  at  Patna.  Mrs  Motte 
sympathized  with  her,  but  could  not  do  anything  to 
alleviate  her  position.  When  she  wrote  to  suggest 
rejoining  Mrs  Hastings'  party,  she  received  a  peremp- 
tory letter  desiring  her  to  do  nothing  of  the  kind. 
This  snub  she  accepted  as  final,  and,  through  her 
husband,  laid  her  grievances  before  Mr  Hastings  in 
future. 

Popham's  report 1  of  the  capture  of  Patita  is  short  and 
sweet : — 

"  DEAR  SIR,  I  have  the  happiness  to  inform  you  we  are 
in  possession  of  Pateeta,  and  I  believe  with  little  loss. 
When  the  enemy  heard  our  attack  a  large  body  posted  on 
the  hills  to  the  left  of  our  rear  made  for  the  camp,  but 
European  grenadiers  and  light  infantry  whom  I  kept  as  a 
corps  de  reserve  moved  and  totally  routed  them.  Their 
cavalry  at  the  same  time  made  a  motion  with  some 
infantry  towards  the  right  of  our  camp,  on  which  a  gun 
was  sent  through  some  high  grass  to  our  outpost,  and  by 
firing  two  or  three  rounds  obliged  them  fly.  Could  I  have 
afforded  a  few  sepoys  from  the  camp,  or  had  the  cavalry 
done  anything,  numbers  of  the  runaways  must  have  been 
destroyed.  I  just  hear  very  few  of  our  sepoys  have  been 
killed  and  not  an  officer  hurt.  The  enemy  has  sustained 
great  loss. 

"  I  have  the  honour  to  be,  &c.,  &c., 

"  WILLIAM  POPHAM." 

1  State  Papers. 


150  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Hastings  describes  the  place  as  "  inconsiderable  (?  con- 
siderable) in  itself,  being  a  fortified  stone  house  within 
a  very  high  rampart  and  ditch  of  great  depth,  and  the 
town,  which  is  of  great  extent,  surrounded  by  entrench- 
ments, ...  all  obscured  from  observation  by  trees  and 
thick  bushes." 

MAJOR  FULLARTON  is  only  mentioned  in  the  Corres- 
pondence in  one  or  two  undated  letters  from  Sir  Robert 
Barker,  the  Bengal  Commander- in -Chief,  which  are 
probably  to  be  attributed  to  the  time  of  the  Rohilla 
Campaign,  1774.  Barker  recommends  Captain  John 
Fullarton  as  Quartermaster-General  and  Barrackmaster 
to  his  force  on  account  of  his  knowledge  of  the  country 
in  which  it  is  to  operate,  and  of  the  language,  customs,  and 
castes  of  the  people,  Fullarton  died  at  Patna  in  1804. 

The  "  Had  or  Festival "  is  the  Bairam  or  Id-al-Fitr, 
celebrated  at  the  termination  of  the  month-long  fast  of 
Ramazan. 

CHUNAR.     zoth  September. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — Major  Crawford  arrived  yester- 
day and  brought  me  many  of  your  letters,  and  this  Day 
came  a  most  welcome  one  of  the  7th,  which  Major  Fullar- 
ton tells  me  came  from  Bar  in  your  Return  to  Baugulpoor. 
You  are  safe  and  I  am  happy.  But  do  not  remain  even 
at  Baugulpoor,  if  you  hear  any  Alarm.  Go  on.  You 
may  return  to  meet  me  and  the  Water  is  your  Element. 
I  was  frightened  in  reading  some  of  your  Letters,  your 
wild  Fancies  and  your  Danger  in  approaching  Patna.  I 
have  received  a  Letter  from  Sir  Elijah,  which  has  affected 
me  even  to  a  Weakness.  O  that  I  could  see  my  sweet 
Marian  for  one  Hour!  You  have  been  mistaken.  I 
never  was  surrounded  at  Chunar,  nor  in  anything  like 
Danger,  though  I  have  felt  all  the  Dangers  to  which 
others  were  exposed.  I  have  lived  even  luxuriously,  and 


SERIES    II. — LETTER  VI. 

breathed,  till  this  last  week,  the  Air  of  Paradise.  There 
are  now  6  Regiments  of  Sepoys ;  two  European  Com- 
pagnies ;  45  Rangers,  30  Artillery  and  400  bad  Horse,  an 
Army  equal  to  any  Service.  Now  attend.  There  are — 
2  Forts,  Pateeta  6  Miles  off,  in  Sight :  Luttefpoor  6  Miles 
further  in  the  same  Line.  On  the  I5th  at  10  P.M.  Major 
Crabb  marched  by  a  long  Circuit  to  surprize  the  first, 
but  by  bad  Roads  was  three  Days  on  the  Way,  instead 
of  one.  He  was — yesterday  near  it  and  in  the  Plain. 
Major  Popham  marched  four  Hours  later  to  Pateeta, 
but  it  has  proved  a  Place  of  too  great  Strength  for  a 
Coup  de  Main.  This  Morning  he  attacked  and  took  it 
(at  6,  by  Storm),  and  routed  a  great  Rabble,  that  at- 
tempted his  Camp.  I  saw  the  firing  and  Progress  of  the 
Action,  which  extended  4  Miles.  They  were  in  great 
Numbers,  their  best  Troops  (the  Rabble),  and  the  Fort 
of  exceeding  Strength.  Yet  I  thank  God  our  Loss  in 
Seepoys  was  very  small,  and  no  Officer  hurt.  I  cannot 
rejoice  at  Victories  won  with  Blood.  That  we  lost  no 
more  I  ascribe  to  our  Concentration.  This  will  decide 
our  present  Influence,  and  give  it  a  new  Turn.  I  hope 
to  give  you  more  good  News,  two  or  three  Days  hence. 
I  am  well,  perfectly  well.  I  am  glad  that  Mrs  Sulivan 
is  not  with  you,  and  that  Sir  Elijah  is.  May  God  bless 
and  protect  you.  I  was  ever  happy  in  my  Marian.  I 
am  now  proud  of  her.  This  Trial  has  shown  to  the 
World  that  Worth,  of  which  I  only  before  knew  the 
Degree.  Tell  Mrs  Motte  I  love  and  esteem  her.  I  write 
to  Sir  Elijah. 

Yours  ever,  my  Beloved.  W.  H. 

P.S.  .  The  Nabob  has  behaved  honourably  and  seems 


152  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

sincerely  rejoiced  at  our  Success,  which  I  carried  to  him 
with  a  Congratulation  for  the  Ead  or  Festival,  a  Point  of 
Importance  to  a  superstitious  Mind.  All  my  Party  is 
well.  None  better  than  I  am. 


LETTER   VII. 

The  letter  to  Wheler  enclosed  in  this  conveyed  the 
news  that  while  Hastings  was  visiting  Popham's  camp 
and  inspecting  with  him  the  captured  fortifications  of 
Patita,  "we  had  the  satisfaction  to  receive  by  a  regular 
salute  of  21  guns  the  instant  information  of  the  posses- 
sion of  Lutteefpoor  by  Major  Crabb."  A  postscript  adds 
that  on  the  same  day  Major  Balfour  took  possession  of 
Ramnagar,  which  had  been  evacuated  the  evening  before. 

CONTOO  BAUBOO  (Kantu  Babu),  was  Hastings'  diwan 
— perhaps  "man  of  business"  would  express  his  duties 
best  to  English  readers.  He  had  full  charge  of  his 
employer's  money  matters  and  household  affairs,  and 
arranged  loans  for  him  when  necessary — for  a  considera- 
tion, of  course.  He  was  regarded  with  considerable 
suspicion  by  most  of  Hastings'  acquaintances — though 
never,  apparently,  by  Hastings  himself,  and  it  appears 
from  the  Correspondence  that  though  he  had  grown  rich 
in  his  service,  he  displayed  no  indiscreet  alacrity  in 
coming  to  his  rescue  at  the  time  of  his  greatest  distress 
in  1791.  The  faithful  Beneram  Pundit  sent  his  patron 
25,000  sicca  rupees  on  hearing  of  his  difficulties  from 
Chapman,  and  Contoo  was  stimulated  by  this  example 
to  promise  8000.  Contoo  had  been  left  behind  in  Benares 
at  this  time  by  accident.  Chait  Singh,  trying  to  gain 
time  and  throw  Hastings  off  his  guard,  continued  his 
pretended  negociations  up  to  the  last  moment,  and  his 
wakil  was  visiting  Contoo  when  the  Mission  took  its  de- 
parture. On  the  arrival  of  the  Rajah's  troops  the  diwan 
was  arrested  and  taken  to  Bijaigarh,  together  with  Mr 


SERIES    II. — LETTER   VIII.  153 

Barnet  and  one  of  Markham's  maulvis.  The  maulm  was 
murdered  by  Chait  Singh's  order,  and  as  his  fellow  and 
the  chabdar  had  both  fallen  in  the  massacre  of  Shiwala 
Ghat,1  the  three  men  to  whose  provocation  the  Rajah 
attributed  the  outbreak  were  all  disposed  of. 

MR  BARNET  appears  in  the  list  of  Hastings'  companions 
on  August  2ist  as  "  an  inhabitant  of  Benares."  Sir  Elijah 
Impey  refers  to  him  in  a  letter  as  "  the  Jew  of  Benaris," 
and  gives  an  account  of  his  proceedings  later  on  which 
shows  that  he  was  a  diamond-merchant,  of  a  type  that 
would  nowadays  seek  its  profits  in  transactions  such  as 
are  veiled  under  the  letters  I.D.B.  Chait  Singh's  treat- 
ment of  him  was  contemptuous  rather  than  cruel.  He 
obliged  him  to  write  to  Hastings  and  propose  terms  of 
peace,  and  the  '  India  Gazette '  says  that  he  made  him 
notch  (dance)  and  sing  for  his  amusement. 

CHUNAR.    22nd  September. 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN, — I  wrote  to  you  yesterday  and 
to  Sir  Elijah.  Read  the  enclosed.  Let  Sands  copy  it 
for  our  Friends,  and  forward  it  to  Calcutta  to  Mr  Wheler. 
I  am  amazingly  well.  I  hope  that  I  shall  be  again  at 
Benares  in  three  Days  more.  Enough  for  one  Letter.  I 
love  you  ever  most  dearly.  God  protect  you.  W.  H. 

P.S.  .  I  have  the  joy  to  tell  you  that  Advice  (is)  just 
arrived  from  Lutteefpoor  that  Contoo  and  Mr  Barnet  are 
both  arrived  there  in  Safety,  dismissed  from  Bidjeygur. 


LETTER  VIII. 

The  letter  which  is  found  eighth  in  order  in  the  manu- 
script has  been  headed  by  the  copyist : — "  This  Letter  has 
no  Date,  but  was  propably  (sic)  written  the  2ist  of  Sep- 

1  Hastings  to  Scott,  Gleig,  II.  425. 


154  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

tember."  Internal  evidence  shows,  however,  that  it 
could  not  have  been  written  before  the  24th,  as  it  is  a 
mere  variant  of  the  letter  bearing  that  date.  They  are 
therefore  placed  together,  and  the  present  Letter  VIII.  is 
that  which  appears  in  the  MS.  as  IX. 

Major  Crabb's  achievement  is  described  with  more 
detail  in  Hastings'  letter  to  Wheler  of  September  2gth  : — 

"The  first  detachment  marched  on  the  night  of  the 
I5th  by  a  large  circuit  through  almost  impracticable  ways. 
But  the  spirit  of  the  officers  and  men  surmounted  every 
difficulty.  In  places  where  the  guns  could  not  be  drawn 
by  bullocks  the  sepoys  lifted  them  up  the  rocks,  and  at 
length  on  the  morning  of  the  20th  1  they  arrived  at  the 
heights  lying  behind  and  above  the  Fort  of  Lutteefpoor, 
at  a  place  called  Lora,  which  commands  a  pass  descending 
to  Lutteefpoor  and  reputed  inaccessible  against  opposition 
but  from  above.  The  profound  secrecy  with  which  this 
expedition  was  undertaken,  and  to  which  the  security  of 
the  enemy  in  a  region  so  unfrequented  not  a  little  con- 
tributed, prevented  any  opposition  to  our  troops  in  the 
difficult  parts  of  their  route.  Their  first  movement  only, 
but  neither  their  strength  nor  destination  was  known  till 
their  very  approach.  At  Lora  they  met  a  body  of  2000 
of  the  enemy,  which  they  defeated  and  dispersed  with 
little  loss  on  our  side,  but  on  theirs  of  200  men  killed  on 
the  spot.  The  next  morning  they  took  possession  of  the 
pass  and  of  the  Fort  of  Lutteefpoor,  which  they  found 
evacuated." 

The  bad  effects  of  the  temporary  eclipse  of  British 
credit  and  influence,  to  which  Hastings  refers,  may  be 
summarised  from  his  "  Narrative."  Every  packet,  he 
says,  brought  news  of  fresh  distresses.  Half  of  Oudh  was 
as  rebellious  as  Benares  itself,  Behar  was  invaded  by  a 
chieftain  named  Fatih  Shah,  with  aid  from  Chait  Singh, 
and  the  local  zamindars,  if  not  actually  joining  him  with 
hastily  levied  troops,  were  only  waiting  to  see  how  he 

1  Misprinted  in  State  Papers  26th,  as,  shortly  before,  i6th  appears  for  loth. 


SERIES   II. — LETTER  VIII.  155 

succeeded,  while  the  Nepaul  government  took  advantage 
of  the  preoccupation  of  the  paramount  power  to  seize  a 
tract  of  country  which  had  long  been  in  dispute.  So 
ready  were  minor  misdoers  to  emulate  their  superiors 
that  we  learn  from  the  '  Bengal  Gazette '  that  boats  were 
plundered  on  the  river  between  Patna  and  Buxar — each 
petty  land-owner  reviving  his  old  claim  to  levy  toll  and 
assess  it  to  his  own  satisfaction. 

CHUNAR.     23^  of  September. 

(Of  this  Letter  there  is  a  Dupplicate.) 
MY  MARIAN, — I  wrote  to  you  the  2ist  and  22nd.  I 
repeat  the  Substance  and  add  the  later  Intelligence.  The 
Fort  of  Pateeta  lies  South-east  about  7  Miles,  Lutteefpoor 
at  the  same  Distance  beyond  it  in  the  same  Line.  The 
Rajah  was  at  Lutteefpoor.  His  Forces  divided  between 
both.  Our  Plan  was  to  attack  both  at  once,  while  all 
expected  us  to  begin  at  Ramnagur.  On  the  I5th  at  10 
P.M.  Major  Crabb  marched  and  making  a  large  Circuit 
over  Rocks  and  Hills  came  on  the  Back  of  Lutteefpoor, 
on  the  igth  undiscovered.  On  the  2Oth  he  attacked  and 
defeated  a  Body  of  2000,  killing  150 ;  and  the  2ist  entered 
Lutteefpoor  evacuated  the  preceding  Evening.  Major 
Popham  marched  against  Pateeta  the  i6th  at  3  A.M. :  and 
after  battering  it  2  Days  without  Impression,  on  the 
Morning  of  the  2Oth  he  stormed  and  took  it,  dispersing 
2  Bodies  at  the  same  Time  in  the  Field.  The  Rajah  fled 
that  Evening  with  Precipitation.  I  know  not  what  is 
become  of  him  or  his  Troops.  Ramnagur  was  evacuated 
the  same  Evening,  and  I  hear  that  his  other  Garrisons 
have  followed  the  Example.  I  went  (rode)  on  the  2ist  to 
Pateeta,  and  admire  how  it  was  taken  in  its  actual  State. 
At  One  I  had  the  Happiness  to  hear  21  Guns  regularly 


156  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

fired  from  Lutteefpoor,  which  we  all  understood  to  be  the 
Signal  of  instant  Possession.  Major  Balfour  took  peace- 
ably Possession  of  Ramnagur  yesterday  afternoon.  Bid- 
jeygur,  a  Place  of  great  reputed  Strength  remains.  It  is 
32  Miles  from  Lutteefpoor,  and  Major  Popham's  next 
Object.  It  is  enough  that  our  Credit  and  Influence  are 
restored.  The  Effects  might  have  been  dreadful  and  were 
becoming  universal.  I  go  to  Benares  on  the  26th.  All 
is  quiet  there.  I  shall  be  well  guarded.  I  am  delighted 
with  the  Spirit  of  our  Officers  and  with  such  a  wonderful 
Instance  of  the  Principle  of  Union  animating  our  Govern- 
ment. On  the  2ist  of  August  I  fled  with  400  Men,  and 
many  thousands  prepared  to  attack  me,  from  Benares. 
Armies  spontaneously  hastened  to  my  Aid,  and  on  the 
2 ist  of  the  following  Month  completely  retrieved  all  that 
we  before  had  lost.  Read  this  to  Sir  Elijah  and  Lady 
Impey  and  our  Friends  with  my  Compliments.  Adieu 
my  Love, 


LETTERS   IX.  and   X. 

Hastings'  renewed  fears  for  his  wife's  safety,  so  prom- 
inent in  both  these  letters,  were  quite  unnecessary  so 
far  as  Chait  Singh  was  concerned.  He  had  no  intention 
of  doing  anything  so  foolish  as  to  make  a  dash  for  Bha- 
galpur  with  the  thousand  men  who  remained  at  his 
disposal.  Popham  says  on  October  gth : — 

"  The  Raja  by  an  unfrequented  route  reached  Bijeygur 
the  next  morning  (September  22nd),  but  after  having 
given  some  instructions  to  the  killadar  (commandant), 
left  his  family  in  the  place  and  fled  to  Agowree,  a  fort 
upon  the  Soane  close  to  the  borders  of  his  own  district, 
with  a  quantity  of  treasure  said  to  amount  to  a  crore  of 


SERIES    II. — LETTERS    IX.    AND   X.  157 

rupees  on  elephants  and  camels.  .  .  .  Major  James 
Crawford  with  his  corps  and  one  battalion  is  at  present 
detached  in  pursuit  of  the  Raja,  who  has  left  Agowree, 
and  fled  further  off,  with  intentions  to  take  protection  in 
Bundelkhund." 

Hastings  mentions  in  his  "  Narrative  "  that  Chait  Singh 
carried  with  him  a  lakh  of  gold  mohurs  and  fifteen  or 
sixteen  lakhs  of  rupees.  He  left  his  mother,  the  Rani 
Panna,  to  hold  Bijaigarh,  of  which  Popham  says,  "  The 
fort  is  in  good  repair,  with  a  wall  and  towers  verging 
close  to  the  steep  of  the  highest  hill  I  have  ever  seen 
in  this  country."  Her  obstinate  resistance,  and  the 
cleverness  with  which  she  deluded  the  besiegers  by 
protracted  negociations,  prolonged  the  siege,  and  when 
it  ended,  Hastings  suffered  one  of  his  bitterest  dis- 
appointments. The  treasure  in  the  fort,  amounting 
to  twenty -three  lakhs,  to  which  he  had  looked  to 
replenish  the  treasury,  was  seized  upon  by  Popham 
and  his  officers  and  divided  among  themselves,  even 
the  subalterns  receiving  20,000  rupees  each.1  In  their 
defence  they  brought  forward  disingenuously  a  note 
written  by  the  Governor-General  to  Popham  alluding 
to  the  personal  effects  of  the  besieged  —  as  distinct 
from  the  Rajah's  treasure  —  which  would  naturally 
become  the  property  of  the  captors,  and  the  most 
contradictory  accusations  were  based  on  this  by 
Hastings'  enemies,  who  could  not  conceive  the  simple 
truth  that  he  was  more  disappointed  than  any  one. 
Chait  Singh  succeeded  in  reaching  his  goal  of  safety 
in  Bandelkhand,  though  every  petty  Rajah  he  passed 
plundered  him  of  a  portion  of  his  treasure.  In  Lord 
Valentia's  day  he  was  still  living  on  a  small  jaghir  in 
the  Maratha  country,  where  he  had  married  a  nach 
girl,  and  was  held  in  universal  contempt.  He  died 
in  1810. 

Hastings'  warm  testimony  to  the  kindness  of  COLONEL 

1  See  'The  Great  Proconsul,'  Appendix  III. 


158  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

and  MRS  BLAIR  is  interesting  in  view  of  a  silly  libel 
published  by  the  '  Bengal  Gazette,'  which  carried  its 
opposition  to  the  Governor  -  General  so  far  as  to 
endeavour  to  throw  ridicule  on  every  one  who  had 
the  remotest  connection  with  him.  A  Calcutta  cor- 
respondent signing  himself  A.  G.  W.  sends  the  follow- 
ing contribution,  purporting  to  come  from  a  certain 
H.  S.  at  Berhampore : — 

"  All  our  Conversation  at  present  is  intirely  on  Colonel 

very  shameful  behaviour  to  the  G G ,  who 

it  seems  lived  with  him  during  the  troubles  at  Benares. 
Inclosed  I  send  you  a  copy  of  a  Bill,  which  it  is  Said, 
he  sent  to  Mr  H.  before  his  departure  from  Chunar 
Gur.  ... 

"The  H W H.  Esq.,  G r-G 1;  to  Lieut.- 

CoL— 

"  To  Dieting  himself — and  Family  for  33  days, 
Feeding  Elephants,  Camels,  Horses,  and  Bullocks, 

&c.,  &c.,  &c. 

Breaking  of  Tables,  Chairs,  Couches,  Teapoys, 
Shades,  Decanters,  Bottles,  and  Glasses, 
&c.,  &c.,  &c. 

Sicca  Rupees,  42,000.  E.  E. 

(Signed)         WILLIAM  


Lt.-Col.  Commanding  at  Chunar." 

Hastings  took  the  matter  so  much  to  heart  that  three 
weeks  later  we  find  that  he  has  written  to  the  Council 
denying  the  assertion,  and  that  the  Council  has  issued 
a  formal  contradiction,  reprimanding  the  unknown 
author  of  the  libel  and  expressing  anxiety  to  discover 
him,  while  saying  plainly  that  it  is  more  likely  to  have 
been  fabricated  beyond  the  Caramnassa  than  at  Ber- 
hampore. Internal  evidence  makes  it  certain  that  the 
offender  was  some  one  who  had  a  grudge  against 
Colonel  Blair  for  having  been  promoted  over  his  head. 


SERIES    II. — LETTERS    IX.    AND   X.  159 

Blair  seems  to  have  had  no  objection  to  provoking 
enmity  of  this  kind,  for  in  1784  we  find  him  writing 
to  Hastings  to  ask  to  be  allowed  to  succeed  Colonel 
Muir  in  command  of  the  First  Brigade  at  Burhampoor 
itself.  Very  soon  afterwards  comes  a  letter  from  Sir 
John  Gumming  or  Cummings,  protesting  against  Blair's 
being  given  the  First  Brigade,  as  it  would  throw  a  stigma 
on  himself.  If  he  is  made  the  nominal  head  he  will  leave 
the  actual  command  and  the  emoluments  to  Blair  or 
any  one  else. 


LETTER   IX.    (VIII.    in    MS.) 

I  must  repeat  my  Fears  for  your  Safety,  and  my 
wish  that  you  would  leave  Baugulpoor.  I  dread  a 
Surprize  the  last  Effort  of  Despair.  You  will  be  secure 
of  the  River  at  least  on  the  other  Side.  The  Change 
in  my  Fortune  has  been  wonderful ;  I  do  not  presume 
on  it  and  am  as  timid  as  ever  in  the  only  Point  for 
which  I  have  ever  had  any  great  Fears.  Consult  Sir 
Elijah  and  repair  to  some  place  of  Safety.  When  all 
is  quiet,  I  will  entreat  you  to  meet  me,  for  I  do  not 
love  my  Life  equal  to  your  Presence.  I  love  you  more 
than  I  ever  did,  nor  are  you  ever  from  my  Thoughts. 
I  am  perfectly  well,  and  stouter  than  I  have  been  a 
long  time.  No  Fatigue  depresses  me.  I  have  a  Scrap 
left  to  tell  you,  that  Captain  Blair,  just  come  in,  says: 
that  Lutteefpoor  is  of  vast  Extent  and  Strength  and 
the  Camp  must  have  contained  25,000  Men.  It  was 
a  complete  Surprize  and  equal  to  one  of  your  best 
Moves  at  Chess.  Adieu  my  Beloved.  W.  H. 


l6o  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

LETTER   X. 

CHUNAR.     24^  September. 

I  send  a  Dupplicate  of  my  last,  because  it  contains 
a  Series  of  wonderful  and  most  happy  Events,  com- 
pressed into  a  short  Narrative.  I  have  to  add  that 
Contoo  and  Mr  Barnet  were  carried  with  the  Rajah 
in  his  flight  to  Bidjeygur  and  there  released.  They 
are  at  Lutteefpoor  or  on  the  Way  hither :  a  joyful 
Event  and  a  public  Demonstration  of  the  depressed 
State  of  this  Man  of  Blood.  Bidjeygur  remains,  but 
though  strong,  I  trust  it  will  soon  be  in  our  possession. 
Captain  Blair,  who  was  of  the  Party  with  Major  Crabb, 
saw  it  at  the  Distance  of  6  Cose,  and  says  that  it 
exceeds  Chunar  in  Height  and  Extent.  He  describes 
Lutteefpoor  as  a  Place  of  great  Strength  and  Extent, 
and  the  Pass  behind  it  absolutely  impraticable  (sic) 
against  any  Defence  but  from  above.  Our  Plan  has 
proved  an  excellent  one,  its  Effects  beyond  Hope  and 
equal  to  one  of  your  best  Moves  at  Chess.  While  I 
write  Contoo  is  arrived,  and  with  me.  He  says  that 
Bidjeygur  is  not  so  strong  as  Chunar,  the  Garrison 
250  Men  and  with  the  Rajah,  who  was  on  the  Point 
of  flying  the  Country,  about  1000.  Barnet  is  also 
come.  The  Nabob  takes  his  leave  to-morrow.  Colonel 
Blair  has  entertained  me  with  great  Hospitality  and  an 
honest  Attention,  that  has  won  my  Heart.  I  wish  you 
would  write  a  Line  to  Mrs  Blair,  that  they  may  know, 
that  you  are  acquainted  with  my  Sense  of  their  Civilities. 
I  must  yet  recur  to  my  Fears  for  your  Safety.  You  are 
not  absolutely  safe  at  Baugulpoor.  I  dread  a  Surprize, 
the  last  Effort  of  the  Rajah's  Despair.  Pray  leave  it. 


SERIES    II. — THE    SETTLEMENT    OF    BENARES.        l6l 

Go  any  where  on  the  River,  on  the  other  side  of  the 
River,  or  even  on  yours  below  Baugulpoor.  Consult 
Sir  Elijah  on  this.  Compliments  to  him  and  all  your 
Friends. 

Adieu  my  beloved,  my  most  amiable,  my  best  Marian. 

The  Settlement  of  Benares. 

The  Nawab-Vizier  left  Chanar  on  September  25th, 
having  concluded  with  Hastings  the  treaty  which 
bound  him  to  resume  all  the  jaghirs  he  had  foolishly 
granted,  and  to  pay  a  monetary  compensation  to  those 
jaghirdars  whose  rights  had  been  guaranteed  by  the 
Company.  In  this  forfeiture  the  Begums  were  in- 
cluded, on  the  express  ground  of  their  disloyalty,  in 
raising  rebellion  and  assisting  Chait  Singh  with  troops, 
to  the  government  on  whose  guarantee  they  depended. 
This  disloyalty  was  so  notorious  that  it  did  not  occur 
to  Hastings  that  any  special  proof  of  it  was  needed, 
but  Sir  Elijah  Impey  reminded  him  of  the  suspicion 
with  which  all  his  actions  were  viewed  at  home,  and 
joined  him  at  Benares  for  the  purpose  of  obtaining 
sworn  information  as  to  the  details.1  It  is  difficult  to 
understand  the  wild  denunciations  excited  by  these 
affidavits,  unless  it  be  on  the  ground  that  they  were 
unanswerable  and  unshakeable,  for  even  at  the  Trial 
no  serious  attempt  was  made  to  overthrow  their 
credibility. 

On  September  a8th  Hastings  returned  to  Benares,  in 
order  to  tranquillise  the  minds  of  the  inhabitants,  and 
there  appointed  Babu  Myhip  Narayan,  the  grandson  of 
Chait  Singh's  father,  Balwant  Singh,  and  of  the  Rani 
Gulab  Kur,  as  Zamindar.  He  also  took  in  hand  the 
administration  of  the  town,  which  under  Chait  Singh 
had  been  a  byword  throughout  India,  owing  to  the  dis- 

1  Hastings  to  Scott,  Gleig,  II.  418. 
L 


162  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

orders  and  crimes  which  were  of  constant  occurrence. 
Since  none  of  the  principal  Hindus  of  the  town  were 
capable  of  filling  the  office  satisfactorily,1  he  chose  for 
the  post  of  Chief  Magistrate  a  Mohammedan  named  Ali 
Ibrahim  Khan,  who  was  highly  esteemed  by  the  members 
of  both  religious  bodies,  and  appointed  under  him  a 
Kotwal,  or  chief  of  police,  and  civil  and  criminal  judges 
with  assessors  versed  in  Hindu  and  Mohammedan  law. 
These  arrangements  were  most  successful,  and  Benares 
became  as  celebrated  for  the  excellence  of  its  adminis- 
tration as  it  had  been  notorious  for  its  lawlessness. 
Wheler,  who  had  borne  his  part  in  the  crisis  by  assid- 
uously minimising  in  the  '  India  Gazette '  all  tidings  of 
disaster  —  to  the  fierce  wrath  of  the  rival  '  Bengal 
Gazette' — and  issuing  proclamations  containing  moral 
reflections  on  the  iniquities  of  Chait  Singh  and  the 
danger  incurred  by  any  who  might  follow  his  example, 
was  made  acquainted  with  these  changes  on  the  ist  of 
November.  On  the  igth  of  the  same  month  followed 
the  agreeable  intimation  that  the  jamma  or  tribute  pay- 
able from  the  zamindari  would  in  future  be  forty  lakhs 
instead  of  twenty  -  two.  Hastings  had  already  trans- 
mitted the  news  of  the  treaty  of  peace  with  Sindhia, 
in  which  Colonel  Muir  had  conducted  the  actual  nego- 
ciations,  but  which  he  himself  had  superintended  in  the 
midst  of  his  difficulties  and  embarrassments.  It  is  diffi- 
cult to  know  whether  to  admire  more  the  coolness  of 
the  Governor-General  or  the  far-sightedness  of  the  great 
Maratha.  On  the  conclusion  of  peace  David  Anderson 
was  despatched  to  Sindhia's  camp  as  Resident  at  his 
court,  and  Charles  Chapman  was  sent  to  Nagpur  to 
act  in  the  same  capacity  with  Mudaji. 

The  true  nature  of  the  crisis  which  Hastings  had  sur- 
mounted can  only  be  realised  by  imagining  Lord  Canning 
to  have  been  shut  up  in  Agra  during  the  Mutiny.  "  Had 
any  accident  happened  to  Mr  Hastings,"  said  Sir  Eyre 

1  State  Papers. 


SERIES    II. — THE    SETTLEMENT    OF    BENARES.        163 

Coote  to  Wheler,  "what,  in  the  Name  of  God,  could 
you  or  I  have  done  with  the  Government  ? "  That  he 
was  well  supported  is  true,  yet  it  needed  two  sharp 
lessons  to  teach  his  army  not  to  undervalue  the  enemy, 
and  without  the  determination  of  Mrs  Hastings  the 
civilians  of  Patna  might  have  earned  undying  ignominy 
by  abandoning  him  to  destruction. 

Mrs  Hastings  joined  her  husband  at  Benares  in  October. 
On  the  8th  of  that  month  Captain  Sands  writes  that  she 
is  well  and  in  high  spirits.  He  has  had  the  honour  of 
attending  her  out  an  airing  before  breakfast,  when  she 
looked  better  than  he  had  seen  her  for  many  months. 
They  were  to  set  out  the  next  day  for  Patna,  where 
they  expected  to  receive  Hastings'  leave  to  go  on  to 
Benares.  The  voyage  was  likely  to  be  tedious,  as  the 
river  was  low  and  the  winds  generally  from  the  west, 
but  no  danger  was  to  be  anticipated,  as  they  would 
obtain  an  increased  escort  at  Patna  from  Colonel  Ahmuty. 
The  move  was  delayed  for  some  reason,  for  when  he 
writes  again  on  the  i6th,  they  are  only  two  coss  above 
Bar,  which  was  between  Bhagalpur  and  Patna.  Poor 
Sands,  with  many  apologies,  confesses  that  his  wife 
wants  him  at  Calcutta,  as  she  is  expecting  her  first 
confinement,  and  he  has  promised  to  be  with  her.  Mrs 
Hastings  urges  him  to  start  at  once,  but  he  will  not 
go  until  Hastings  can  send  another  gentleman  to  take 
his  place.  That  done,  he  will  travel  across  country  with 
the  dak-bearers  from  Buxar.  The  permission  was  duly 
given,  and  Hastings  stood  godfather  to  the  baby  when 
it  was  born.  Mrs  Sands  and  her  little  boy  went  home 
in  a  Danish  ship  immediately  after  Mrs  Hastings  had 
sailed,1  but  her  husband  waited  to  accompany  his  patron. 
The  family  settled  in  Scotland,  where  David  Anderson 
mentions  them  frequently  as  living  near  him.  In  1802 
he  says  that  Mrs  Sands  looks  as  young  as  when  she 
was  in  India.  Sands  must  have  died  before  1800,  as 

1  See  infra,  p.  183. 


164  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

at  the  beginning  of  that  year  Hastings  and  Toone  are 
trying  to  obtain  a  pension  for  Mrs  Sands  either  from 
Lord  Clive's  Fund  or  direct  from  the  Company.  The 
latter  was  almost  hopeless,  owing  to  "the  extraordinary 
exertion  of  interest"  required.  Mrs  Sands  and  her  son 
were  frequent  visitors  at  Daylesford.  In  1807  Warren 
Hastings  Sands  writes  from  Edinburgh  to  say  that  his 
mother  is  dead,  "blessing  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  almost 
with  her  last  breath." 

Mrs  Hastings  reached  Benares  safely  under  her  new 
guardianship,  accompanied  her  husband  on  a  peaceful 
visit  to  Chanar,  and  turned  back  to  Calcutta  with  him 
early  in  1782. 


SERIES    III. 


INTRODUCTION. 

INDIA    IN    1784. 

THE  two  years  between  the  settlement  of  Benares  at  the 
close  of  1781  and  Mrs  Hastings'  departure  for  England 
in  January,  1784,  were  a  period  of  apparently  Sisyphean 
labour  on  the  part  of  the  Governor-General.  Each  suc- 
cess gained  seemed  to  be  neutralised  by  a  corresponding 
check.  "  Our  arms  in  the  Carnatic  have  been  repeat- 
edly successful,"  he  writes.  "  No  decisive  advantages 
have  been  gained,  and  we  lose  men  by  every  victory."  1 
Haidar  had  been  defeated  by  Coote  in  four  pitched 
battles,  but  it  was  impossible  to  profit  by  these  successes. 
His  army  too  small  to  allow  him  to  hold  a  line  of  any 
extent,  operating  in  a  country  which  had  already  been 
desolated  by  Haidar,  able  only  to  carry  two  days'  pro- 
visions owing  to  lack  of  transport,  assailed  by  floods, 
hardship,  and  disease  —  to  say  nothing  of  the  vigilant 
and  ubiquitous  enemy  —  Coote's  Carnatic  campaign  is 
one  of  the  most  astonishing  in  military  history.  The 
hapless  inhabitants  of  Madras  saw  in  him  their  only 
hope,  and  in  answer  to  their  earnest  petition,  he  re- 
tained his  command  after  a  second  paralytic  stroke, 
and  contrived  once  more  to  inspire  his  troops  to  fresh 

1  Hastings  to  Scott,  Gleig,  II.  450. 


l66  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

efforts.  Hastings  supported  him  ungrudgingly,  pouring 
provisions,  troops,  and  treasure  into  the  country  in  spite 
of  his  own  difficulties  in  Bengal,  and  overlooking  Coote's 
unjust  and  violent  letters,  and  his  shameful  treatment  of 
Colonel  Pearse  and  other  officers  who  owed  their  appoint- 
ments to  the  Governor-General.  The  old  hero's  temper, 
never  sweet,  had  not  improved  with  age  and  ill-success, 
and  he  failed  to  obtain  from  the  Madras  Government  the 
consideration  extended  to  him  by  Hastings. 

Lord  Macartney,  who  was  sent  out  from  home  as 
Governor,  made  common  cause  with  a  Council  that 
resented  bitterly  his  appointment  as  that  of  an  outsider, 
in  opposing  Coote  as  the  representative  of  Bengal.  That 
he  had  come  to  the  help  of  the  Presidency  in  its  darkest 
hour  was  nothing.  He  represented  what  they  called  "an 
external  government,"  the  authority  of  which  they  pre- 
ferred to  deny.  When  they  sent  their  frantic  letters  for 
help  against  Haidar,  it  was  money  and  reinforcements 
they  desired,  not  a  general  who  would  take  command  of 
their  forces.  The  General  in  the  field  was  hampered  at 
every  turn  by  the  dead  weight  of  Madras.  If  the  Com- 
mittee could  not  assert  the  authority  over  him  which  they 
strenuously  claimed,  they  could  at  least  refrain  from  any 
active  exertions  in  his  support,  and  they  did  so.  How 
unfit  they  were  for  the  power  they  desired  was  shown  at 
the  end  of  1782,  when  Coote  had  been  forced  to  take  a 
short  furlough  to  Calcutta  for  the  sake  of  his  health. 
Haidar  died  while  his  intended  successor,  Tipu,  was 
absent  in  Malabar,  and  the  news,  though  concealed  from 
the  Mysorean  army,  reached  the  English.  It  was  the 
moment  when  an  attack  might  have  been  pushed  home 
with  the  happiest  results,  but  General  Stewart,  the 
Madras  Commander-in-Chief,  refused  to  believe  the  tale, 
or  to  advance,  and  amid  the  mutual  recriminations  that 
followed,  Tipu  returned  to  the  army  and  made  his  posi- 
tion safe.  Coote,  returning  from  Bengal  with  a  fresh 
supply  of  treasure,  was  chased  by  a  French  squadron, 


SERIES    III. — INTRODUCTION.  167 

and  though  the  pursuit  was  relinquished,  his  agony  of 
mind  brought  on  a  third  paralytic  stroke,  and  he  reached 
Madras  only  to  die,  Lord  Macartney  and  the  Com- 
mittee attacking  him  even  on  his  death-bed  with  insulting 
letters. 

It  is  instructive  to  note  that  had  he  lived  to  return  to 
England,  Coote  would  have  been  included  in  the  proceed- 
ings taken  against  Hastings.  "  What  would  poor  Coote 
have  suffered,"  writes  the  survivor,  "  had  he  lived  to  have 
been  placed  where  I  have  been  ?  The  first  three  days 
would  have  killed  him."1  The  extra  allowances  which 
had  been  granted  him  were  withdrawn  by  the  order  of  the 
Directors,  and  he  found  himself  obliged  to  maintain  three 
establishments  and  keep  the  field  in  the  Carnatic  upon 
less  than  half  the  sum  enjoyed  by  his  subordinate, 
General  Stibbert,  as  Commander- in -Chief  in  Bengal.2 
Almost  desperate,  he  hit  upon  the  plan  of  asking  the 
Nawab-Vizier,  who  had  provided  the  additional  allow- 
ances he  had  hitherto  enjoyed,  to  continue  them,  and  this 
was  done.  It  was  one  of  the  charges  against  Hastings 
that  he  had  allowed  it,3  and  had  Coote  lived,  he  must  in 
consistency  have  been  included  in  the  accusation.  Since, 
however,  he  was  dead,  felix  opportunitate  mortis,  the 
Directors  proceeded  to  build  his  sepulchre  in  the  ap- 
proved style  by  voting  him  a  monument  in  Westminster 
Abbey  and  a  statue  at  the  India  House. 

Having  got  rid  of  their  incubus,  the  Madras  Govern- 
ment were  free  to  devote  themselves  to  the  acquisition  of 
peace  at  any  price,  and  by  the  end  of  1783  commissioners 
had  been  appointed,  who  followed  Tipu  from  place  to 
place,  exposed  to  all  the  alarms  and  hardships  his  caprice 
could  suggest,  until  by  concessions,  entreaties,  and  the 
practical  surrender  of  such  slight  advantages  as  had  been 

1  From  an  interesting  letter  to  Thompson,  dated  July  1 7th,  1788,  in  the 
possession  of  Lord  St  Oswald,  edited  by  the  late  Librarian  of  the  House  of 
Lords,  in  '  Harper's  Magazine '  for  December,  1904. 

2  Debates.     The  respective  sums  were  ^6000  and  £13,000. 

3  See  Appendix  IV. 


l68  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

secured  by  the  war,  they  obtained  the  desired  treaty. 
This  craven  attitude  was  due  entirely  to  Lord  Macartney's 
anxiety  to  pose  as  the  sole  maker  and  bringer  of  peace, 
for  apart  from  the  fact  that  everything  was  in  readiness 
for  a  march  into  Mysore,  so  as  to  attack  Tipu  in  the  rear, 
Hastings  had  just  succeeded  in  his  long  and  painful 
efforts  to  isolate  the  Sultan  by  detaching  his  allies.  The 
treaty  with  Sindhia,  following  on  the  agreement  with 
Berar,  was  the  first-fruits  of  his  toil,  and  in  May,  1782, 
Anderson,  with  Sindhia  as  mediator,  succeeded  in  con- 
cluding the  Treaty  of  Salbai  with  the  Maratha  nation. 
Not  for  nearly  a  year,  however,  was  the  treaty  actually 
ratified,  and  this  solely  on  account  of  the  rumours  which 
reached  the  Marathas  that  Hastings'  enemies  had  ob- 
tained a  fresh  triumph  over  him  in  England.  When  it 
was  at  length  executed,  in  February,  1783,  the  Marathas 
and  the  Nizam  became  the  allies  of  the  English,  so  that 
three  members  of  the  original  Quadruple  Alliance  were 
now  united  with  the  nation  against  which  it  was  directed, 
in  opposition  to  the  fourth.  Thus,  but  for  the  unworthy 
precipitation  of  Lord  Macartney  and  his  Council,  Hast- 
ings could  have  proceeded,  with  an  overwhelming  force  at 
his  disposal,  to  break  the  power  of  Mysore — an  object 
which  it  required  two  subsequent  wars,  with  immense 
expenditure  of  blood  and  treasure,  to  achieve. 

The  troubles  at  home  which,  as  diligently  reported  by 
the  '  Leyden  Gazette '  and  propagated  by  the  French 
agent  at  Poonah,  had  helped  to  thwart  Hastings  in  this 
effort,  were  due  to  the  fall  of  Lord  North's  Ministry  in 
March,  1782.  A  more  lukewarm  and  ineffective  sup- 
porter than  Lord  North  had  proved  himself  it  would  be 
hard  to  find,  but  if  he  was  weakly  ready  to  throw  Hast- 
ings overboard  to  save  himself,  his  successors  considered 
it  their  paramount  duty  and  delight  to  do  so.  A  Com- 
mittee of  the  House  of  Commons,  under  the  presidency  of 
General  Richard  Smith,1  one  of  the  candidates  for  high 

1  See  infra,  p.  259. 


SERIES    III. — INTRODUCTION.  169 

office  in  India,  had  already  reported  strongly  against  the 
appointment  of  Impey  as  head  of  the  newly  constituted 
district  courts,  and  against  Hastings  for  appointing  him, 
and  from  the  new  Ministry,  that  of  Lords  Rockingham 
and  Shelburne,  in  which  Burke,  his  greatest — as  opposed 
to  his  bitterest — enemy  was  Paymaster  of  the  Forces,  he 
had  little  mercy  to  expect.  The  nominal  heads  of  the 
Government,  who  had  both  supported  him  in  the  past, 
left  him  now  in  the  hands  of  Dundas,  Burke,  and  Fox, 
but  it  can  hardly  be  said  that  the  general  feeling  of  Par- 
liament was  against  him,  since  twenty-six  members  only 
could  be  found  to  vote  the  forty-four  resolutions  which 
censured  him  and  required  his  recall.  A  little  later,  an 
incorrect  and  incomplete  account  of  the  proceedings  at 
Benares  reached  London,  and  was  eagerly  seized  upon  as 
giving  fresh  cause  for  a  motion  to  recall  him,  which  was 
announced  without  any  pretence  of  doing  him  the  com- 
mon justice  to  wait  for  his  own  report  on  the  circum- 
stances. On  both  these  occasions — twice  in  six  weeks — 
Scott  saved  him  by  appealing  to  the  Court  of  Proprietors, 
which  first  declined  to  pay  any  attention  to  a  proposal 
emanating  from  only  one  branch  of  the  Legislature,  and 
the  second  time  refused  to  move  unless  a  General  Court 
were  convened  expressly  to  deal  with  the  question. 

Various  attempts  were  made  against  Hastings  during 
the  remainder  of  the  life  of  the  Ministry,  stimulated  by 
the  arrival  of  despatches  from  Lord  Macartney,  contain- 
ing the  truly  remarkable  accusation  that  he  had  starved 
the  Carnatic  War  for  the  sake  of  carrying  on  that  against 
the  Marathas,  but  Scott  was  able  to  advise  his  patron, 
on  the  recommendation  of  Lord  Shelburne  himself,  to 
pay  no  attention  to  them.  In  March,  1783,  a  more 
serious  state  of  affairs  was  inaugurated  by  the  formation 
of  a  new  Ministry — that  known  as  the  Coalition,  from  its 
being  the  result  of  a  compact  between  Lord  North,  the 
house  of  Cavendish  (the  head  of  which  was  the  Duke  of 
Portland),  and  Charles  Fox.  Like  the  Roman  Triumvir, 


170  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Lord  North  was  ready  to  sacrifice  Hastings  as  the  price 
of  power,  but  though  Burke  actually  proposed  the 
appointment  of  a  carefully  packed  Committee  to  inves- 
tigate the  affairs  of  India,  he  met  with  so  little  support 
that  the  subject  dropped  for  the  summer.  The  delay  in 
ratifying  the  Treaty  of  Salbai  gave  much  delight  to 
Burke  and  his  friends,  who  announced  in  Parliament 
that  Hastings  had  been  deceived  by  Sindhia,  and  that 
there  was  no  peace  with  the  Marathas.  The  official  notice 
of  the  ratification  of  the  Treaty  deprived  them  of  this 
source  of  satisfaction,  but  in  November  Fox  brought  in 
his  two  India  Bills,  the  effect  of  which  would  have  been 
to  transfer  the  entire  power  and  patronage  of  the  Com- 
pany to  the  Ministry.  The  first  passed  the  House  of 
Commons  by  large  majorities,  but  was  thrown  out  by 
the  Lords,  and  the  Government  resigned,  to  be  replaced 
by  a  Ministry  with  Pitt  at  its  head,  and  Hastings'  fervent 
supporter  Thurlow  as  Lord  Chancellor.  Scott's  letters 
become  almost  delirious  with  joy,  and  all  Hastings' 
friends  thought  his  future  secure,  provided  only  that 
Pitt  remained  in  office. 

At  Calcutta  various  changes  had  taken  place.  The 
depleted  ranks  of  the  Council  had  been  filled  by  the 
appointment  of  two  new  members,  McPherson  and 
Stables.1  Both  these  men,  like  Lord  Macartney,  had 
come  out  heralded  by  the  approval  and  self-congratula- 
tion of  Hastings'  friends  at  home,  who  believed  that  they 
were  honestly  prepared  to  support  him,  but  the  parlia- 
mentary censure  to  which  he  was  subjected  led  them 
to  oppose  him  systematically,  as  the  best  means  of 
dissociating  their  fortunes  from  his.  Impey  had  been 
recalled  in  obedience  to  a  resolution  of  the  House  of 
Commons,  following  on  the  report  of  the  Committee 
already  mentioned,  which  he  received  in  January,  1783. 
He  took  his  passage  at  once  on  board  the  Worcester,  but 
was  actually  unable  to  sail  until  December,  since  the  Bay 

1  See  infra,  pp.  212,  187. 


SERIES   III. — INTRODUCTION.  171 

of  Bengal  was  dominated  by  a  French  fleet.  Troops, 
treasure,  and  provisions  for  the  starving  inhabitants  of 
Madras  were  obliged  to  run  the  gauntlet,  and  it  was  an 
occasion  for  public  rejoicing  when  they  succeeded  in 
slipping  past,  or  when  a  British  squadron  brought  the 
blockading  fleet  to  an  indecisive  action.  The  situation 
was  an  extraordinary  one,  and  the  '  Bengal  Gazette ' 
declares  openly  that  Sir  Edward  Hughes,  the  British 
Admiral,  was  accustomed  to  spend  his  time  in  dancing 
attendance  at  the  durbar  of  the  Nawab  of  Arcot  instead 
of  taking  his  ships  to  sea,  but  this  may  be  scandal.  The 
news  of  the  Peace  of  Versailles  was  not  received  until 
March  i5th,  I784,1  but  the  knowledge  that  peace  was 
imminent,  and  would  deprive  him  of  his  most  important 
ally,  contributed,  no  doubt,  to  extort  a  cessation  of 
hostilities  from  Tipu. 

The  most  noteworthy  event  of  Hastings'  private  life  in 
this  period,  and  one  to  which  he  refers  frequently  in  the 
letters  that  follow,  was  his  illness  in  the  rainy  season  of 
1782,  which  led  to  such  a  display  of  courage  on  Mrs 
Hastings'  part  as  he  could  never  afterwards  recall  without 
painful  emotion.  His  letter  to  Mr  and  Mrs  Woodman  by 
the  Lively  gives  the  best  available  account  of  both. 


CALCUTTA.     i6tk  December,  1782. 

MY  DEAR  BROTHER  AND  SISTER, — Mrs  Hastings  has 
written  to  you,  and  given  you  such  an  Account  of  my 
State  of  Health  as  will  alarm  you.  Her  Report  is  formed 
on  her  own  Feelings,  instead  of  a  better  which  I  could 
have  given  her  from  mine. — The  History  of  my  late 
Illness  is  as  follows. 

On  the  27th  of  August  I  was  seized  with  a  violent 
Fever.  It  continued  in  great  Violence,  and  little  Re- 
mission for  Eight  Days.  Since  that  Time  it  has  returned 
in  Relapses  at  irregular  Distances  of  Time,  each  Attack 

1  'India  Gazette.' 


172  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

weaker  than  the  preceding,  and  I  think  that  I  shall  have 
no  more.  My  only  Complaint  remaining  is  a  great 
Weakness  and  Relaxation  of  the  Tone  of  my  Stomach. 
This  will  gradually  leave  me,  and  my  Physician,  a  Man 
of  Knowledge,  assures  me  that  though  the  Tenderness  of 
my  Constitution  may  continue  till  the  Approach  of  the 
warm  Weather,  my  Strength  and  Health  will  be  equal  at 
least  to  what  they  were  before  I  was  ill. — I  believe  so  too. 
— Mrs  H.  has  suppressed  a  Circumstance  relating  to  my 
Sickness  which  in  Justice  and  Gratitude  I  must  supply. 
She  was  at  a  healthful  Spot  at  the  Distance,  by  Water, 
of  400  Miles  from  Calcutta,  having  retired  thither  to  avoid 
the  Effects  of  the  rainy  Season  which  have  always  proved 
hurtful  to  her  at  Calcutta. — Thence  she  set  off  suddenly 
and  almost  secretly  in  a  little  Boat  which  scarce  served 
to  conceal  and  shelter  her,  and  in  a  tempestuous  Season 
and  on  a  River  which  is  almost  equal  to  a  Sea.1  She 
attempted  and  performed  the  Voyage  in  less  than  three 
Days,  having  very  narrowly  escaped  being  wrecked  in  the 
Way. — She  had  been  some  Days  preceding  very  ill.  She 
arrived  in  perfect  Health,  and  I  can  truly  affirm  that  she 
brought  it  to  me,  and  I  am  willing  to  attribute  my  Life 
as  well  as  my  Recovery  to  her,  for  from  the  Instant  of  her 
arrival  my  Fever  left  me  for  a  Period  of  almost  a  Week, 
and  its  Returns  have  been,  as  I  have  said,  inconsiderable 
and  diminishing  since.  She  herself  has  been,  and  is, 
better  than  she  has  been  for  Years  past. 

I  have  received  a  Letter  from  Major  Scott  dated  the 
ist  of  July  in  which  he  says  that  you  and  your  children 
were  well.  I  thank  God  for  it. — By  the  same  Letter  I 
learn  that  the  Proprietors  had  resolved  not  to  yield  to  the 
Opinion  of  the  House  of  Commons  for  my  Removal,  and 
that  other  Events  had  happened  which  were  favorable 
to  me.  I  wish  they  may  prove  so.  I  begin  to  fear  that  I 
shall  survive  my  Constitution  in  this  Country,  and  Mrs 
Hastings  very  much  requires  a  Change  of  Climate. 

1  "Season"  in  the  original. 


SERIES   III. — INTRODUCTION.  173 

I  have  the  Satisfaction  to  see  Peace  and  Abundance 
flourish  around  me,  and  to  think  that  in  these  Blessings 
we  have  the  Advantage  of  every  other  Part  of  the  British 
Empire.1  I  fear  that  this  is  the  only  One  that  can  boast 
of  either. 

I  refer  you  to  Major  Scott  for  other  Matters.  Adieu 
my  dear  Brother  and  Sister  believe  me  ever  yours  most 
affectionately  W.  HASTINGS. 

The  '  Bengal  Gazette '  is  no  longer  available  for  pur- 
poses of  comparison,  since  its  brief  and  stormy  career  had 
been  terminated  by  the  seizure  of  the  types  by  authority 
in  March  of  this  year,  and  the  incomplete  copies  of  the 
'  India  Gazette  '  in  the  libraries  of  the  British  Museum  and 
the  India  Office  both  fail  us  at  this  point.  Side-lights 
are,  however,  thrown  on  the  illness  and  on  Mrs  Hastings' 
voyage  from  one  or  two  other  quarters.  In  a  letter  to 
Anderson  in  I786,2  Hastings  seems  to  ascribe  his  break- 
down to  overwork.  "  From  the  month  of  February, 
1772,  to  the  23rd  of  August,  1782,"  he  says,  "  I  had  en- 
joyed so  uninterrupted  a  state  of  equal  health,  though 
with  a  constitution  by  no  means  robust,  that  I  had  never 
had  cause  to  postpone  the  meeting  of  Council,  or  other 
appointed  applications  of  business,  and  scarce  allowed 
myself  an  hour  of  indulgence  from  it.  Even  in  the  severe 
sickness  which  then  seized  me,  many  hours  were  still 
devoted  to  my  duty,  and  I  dictated  from  my  bed  what  I 
could  not  write  at  my  desk."  The  letters  which  follow 
testify  to  his  motives  in  refusing  to  allow  Mrs  Hastings 
to  be  informed  of  his  illness,  the  fear  that  she  would 
imperil  her  health  by  returning  to  nurse  him,  and  the 
excessive  delicacy  which  could  not  endure  that  she  should 
see  him  ill  and  helpless.3  How  the  news  reached  her  it 

1  "We  have  lost  the  Command  at  Sea,  of  course  many  of  our  Islands  in  the 
West  Indias,  and  Pensecola,"  writes  Sir  Francis  Sykes  early  in  1782.  "All 
America  except  the  Port  of  New  York  is  lost,  and  a  Capital  army  under  Lord 
Cornwallis  captured,  in  short  disgrace  upon  disgrace." 

a  Gleig,  III.  305.  3  See  infra,  p.  305. 


174  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

is  impossible  to  discover,  but  as  she  was  again  Cleveland's 
guest  at  Bhagalpur,  the  letters,  papers,  and  visitors  he 
would  receive  from  Calcutta  must  have  conveyed  it  sooner 
or  later.  From  her  husband's  reference  to  the  smallness 
of  the  boat  in  which  she  embarked,  and  the  extraordinary 
speed  of  her  journey,  it  appears  that  she  travelled  in  the 
Feelchehra  instead  of  a  budgerow.  The  site  of  the 
disaster  which  might  so  easily  have  had  a  fatal  ending 
is  sufficiently  identified  in  his  letters  as  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  the  Rocks  of  Colgong.1  Hodges  painted  a  picture 
of  the  scene  for  him  afterwards,  which  was  one  of  the 
treasures  of  Daylesford,  and  is  now  in  the  possession  of 
Miss  Winter. 

The  aide-de-camp  in  attendance  on  Mrs  Hastings 
during  this  journey  was  Captain  Mordaunt,2  of  whom 
Thompson  says  that  he  would  rather  travel  from  Lucknow 
to  Calcutta  in  the  hottest  weather  to  ask  a  question  than 
write  even  a  few  lines  about  it.  One  letter  from  him 
is,  however,  to  be  found  in  the  Correspondence,  written 
from  Lucknow  in  1784.  Like  most  of  Hastings'  corres- 
pondents, he  needs  help.  "  It  is  not  my  wish,"  he  writes, 
"to  bring  to  your  memory  what  you  said,  when  you  lay 
111,  on  your  bed,  when  I  arrived  from  Bogalpore,  with 
Mrs  Hastings.  After  our  arrival  you  sent  for  me,  before 
her,  and  took  me  by  the  hand,  telling  me  how  much 
obliged  you  was  to  me,  for  the  care  I  had  taken  of  Mrs 
Hastings,  that  you  would  serve  me,  and  that  I  should  be 
handsomely  provided  for,  In  short  I  should  have  what  I 
asked,  saying  at  the  same  time  how  much  obliged  you 
was  to  me  that  even  when  you  went  home  you  never 
could,  or  would  forget  me,  after  which  you  sent  me  up 
with  Mr  Bristow,  which  was  of  no  service  to  me." 
Hastings  had  recommended  him  to  the  Minister,  Haidar 
Beg  Khan,  for  the  command  of  the  Nawab  -  Vizier's 
cavalry,  but  to  hold  the  post  to  advantage,  money  was 

1  See  infra,  pp.  340,  357. 

2  Not  Turner,  as  stated  on  insufficient  evidence  in  'The  Great  Proconsul.' 


SERIES   III. — INTRODUCTION.  175 

needed,  and  it  was  for  the  means  of  attaining  this  that 
Mordaunt  asked.  It  seems  that  some  post  was  found  for 
him,  for  when  he  died  in  1790  he  was  at  Cawnpore. 

It  appears  that  it  was  to  George  Nesbitt  Thompson, 
who  was  then  unknown  to  her  and  her  husband,  that  Mrs 
Hastings  owed  her  deliverance  from  shipwreck.  "  To 
Mrs  Hastings  we  are  indebted  for  our  mutual  friendship," 
writes  Hastings  in  1801  ; 1  "or  rather  to  Providence, 
which  made  her  personal  danger  the  means  of  calling 
forth  your  humanity,  and  my  gratitude  for  its  exertion, 
when  we  were  unknown  to  each  other.  You  may  have 
forgot  this.  It  is  fresh  in  my  remembrance." 

The  friendship  thus  begun  continued  to  the  end  of 
Hastings'  life. 

1  Gleig,  III.  381. 


176 


CHAPTER    I. 

JANUARY,  1784. 
Mrs  Hastings1  Return  to  England. 

"  I  INFORM  you  of  an  event  likely  to  happen  in  my  own 
family,  to  which  I  already  look,  though  yet  distant,  with 
anguish,"  writes  Hastings  to  Scott  in  October,  I783.1 
"  Had  affairs  gone  on  but  indifferently,  it  was  my  resolu- 
tion to  leave  India  in  January  next.  But  as  my  presence 
may  be  a  kind  of  check  on  Macpherson,  ...  I  cannot  in 
honour  depart.  ...  In  the  mean  time,  as  Mrs  Hastings' 
constitution  visibly  declines,  though  not  subject  to  the 
severe  attacks  which  she  used  to  experience,  she  will 
depart  at  the  time  which  I  had  fixed  for  mine  with  her, 
and  I  shall  do  all  that  I  can  at  this  early  period  to  make 
the  resolution  irrevocable."  In  January,  1784,  he  writes 
from  Saugur  Roads,  whither  he  has  attended  her  to  see 
her  on  board,2  "  Mrs  Hastings's  declining  health  required 
her  instant  departure.  She  was  not  afflicted  with  any 
severe  attack  of  sickness  in  the  last  rainy  season,  but  I 
was  alarmed  with  daily  symptoms,  and  could  only  attri- 
bute her  escape  to  the  weakness,  not  to  the  strength  of 
her  constitution.  I  was  told  too,  that  another  season 
might  prove  fatal  to  her.  I  consented  to  part  from  her, 
nay,  I  urged  her  departure,  nor  even  in  the  painful  hour 
of  trial  do  I  repent  it." 

Mrs  Hastings  seems  to   have   suffered  rather  from  a 

1  Gleig,  III.  128.  2  Ibid.,  138. 


SERIES  in. — MRS  HASTINGS'  RETURN.  177 

general  debility  than  from  any  specific  disease.  Mrs 
Kindersley,  in  her  '  Letters  from  the  East  Indies,'  says 
that  the  English  ladies  in  Bengal  had  a  better  chance  of 
life  than  the  men,  because  they  were  more  temperate  and 
went  out  less  in  the  heat,  but  that  they  suffered  much 
from  weakness  of  the  nerves  and  from  slow  fevers,  and 
this  was  no  doubt  her  case.  Each  hot  season  brought 
on  an  attack  of  illness,  and  when  she  joined  her  husband 
at  Benares  late  in  the  autumn  of  1781  a  short  visit 
to  Chanar  was  followed  by  an  alarming  indisposition. 
There  were  no  hill-stations  in  those  days,  and  it  is  a 
standing  marvel  how  the  English  in  India  managed  to 
attain  long  life  in  their  adopted  country  without  them 
and  with  no  system  of  short  leave  to  England.  An 
officer  or  civil  servant  invalided  home  vacated  his  posi- 
tion ipso  facto,  unless  he  were  entrusted  with  despatches, 
and  could  only  return  to  India  by  the  express  permission 
of  the  Court  of  Directors,  which  was  very  difficult  to 
gain.  As  a  consequence,  a  youth  going  to  India  regarded 
himself  as  almost  certainly  an  exile  for  life,  and  his  in- 
terests became  permanently  fixed  "east  of  Suez."  To 
such  an  extent  was  this  the  case  that  at  one  time,  when 
the  government  at  home  was  more  than  usually  inept  in 
its  handling  of  Indian  affairs,  it  was  actually  suggested 
that  the  English  in  India  should  form  a  republic  of  their 
own,  on  the  model  of  the  revolted  American  colonies, 
with  Hastings  as  President. 

An  extraordinarily  large  proportion  of  Europeans  mar- 
ried native  wives,  and  the  whole  course  of  life  resembled 
that  of  the  natives  far  more  closely  than  is  at  present 
the  case.  The  construction  of  the  houses  and  the  com- 
parative absence  of  furniture,  together  with  the  adop- 
tion in  private  life  of  a  cool  and  loose  style  of  dress,  must 
have  made  for  health,  but  in  some  ways  our  ancestors 
were  less  wise  than  their  descendants.  Their  huge  and 
frequent  meals  were  arranged  on  English  rather  than 
native  lines,  and  the  large  consumption  of  wine  and 

M 


178  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

spirits  was  not  mitigated  by  any  admixture  of  aerated 
waters.  Soldiers — officers  and  privates  alike — wore  the 
heavy  broadcloth,  the  powder  and  pigtails,  and  the 
cocked  hats  and  shakos,  not  affording  even  a  modicum 
of  shade,  of  military  Europe.  Colonel  Ironside  considers 
himself  a  bold  reformer — and  proved,  indeed,  to  be  far  in 
advance  of  his  age — when  he  ventures,  in  writing  to  his 
old  friend  Hastings,  to  suggest  "  a  regimental  frock  of 
some  light  stuff  of  the  country  "  instead  of  the  broadcloth 
coat  in  the  hot  weather,  and  a  strong  yet  light  leather 
cap  with  a  broad  front  to  turn  up  or  down,  and  a  curtain, 
or  as  he  calls  it,  a  cape,  behind.  The  ladies,  who  might 
be  considered  unduly  favoured  in  the  possibility  of  wear- 
ing the  thinnest  muslins  all  day  long,  suffered  gallantly 
for  the  sake  of  keeping  up  home  traditions.  At  all  official 
and  fashionable  entertainments  court  dress,  with  hoops, 
was  worn,  though  a  concession  was  made  to  the  weakness 
of  the  female  frame  in  the  custom  which  allowed  the 
ladies  to  retire  after  the  opening  minuet  and  change  their 
cumbrous  grandeur  for  the  graceful  and  flowing  "night- 
gown," the  precursor  of  the  modern  tea-gown.  The  cele- 
bration of  the  King's  Birthday,  which  occurred  on  June 
4th,  in  the  very  height  of  the  hot  weather,  must  have 
been  a  yearly  agony  until  Hastings  had  the  courage  to 
postpone  it  until  the  cold  season,  much  to  the  disgust  of 
his  journalistic  critic,  who  declared  that  he  made  the 
change  because  there  was  no  money  in  the  treasury  to 
pay  for  the  customary  entertainment. 

Even  in  ordinary  seasons,  the  mortality  among  Euro- 
pean women  and  children  was  frightful,  but  it  seems  to 
have  been  extremely  rare  for  a  wife  to  leave  her  husband 
and  return  home  on  account  of  health.  A  trip  up  the 
river  to  Monghyr  or  Patna,  or  down  the  river  to  the 
Heads,  a  visit  —  in  peace-time  —  to  Mauritius,  or  in 
extreme  cases,  a  voyage  to  the  Cape,  were  the  usual 
remedies,  and  those  who  were  too  poor  or  too  timid 
to  adopt  them  remained  in  Calcutta  and  died.  Children 


SERIES  in. — MRS  HASTINGS'  RETURN.  179 

were  occasionally  sent  home,  but  generally  brought  up 
at  bungalows  well  outside  Calcutta,  under  the  care  of 
a  governess,1  or  at  a  boarding  -  school  in  the  suburbs. 
The  pale,  spoilt,  passionate  Indian  cousin,  thrown  by 
the  death  of  parents  into  the  demure  circle  of  a  well 
brought  up  English  family,  is  a  frequent  figure  in  the 
young  people's  books  of  the  time.  Nor  is  this  reluctance 
to  quit  India  to  be  wondered  at,  when  the  length,  diffi- 
culties, and  dangers  of  the  voyage  are  to  be  taken  into 
account.  In  a  MS.  diary  known  to  the  present  writer, 
it  is  mentioned,  without  astonishment,  that  in  one  ship 
ten  of  the  crew  died  of  scurvy  between  the  Downs  and 
Calcutta,  and  the  male  passengers  were  obliged  to  form 
themselves  into  watches  to  help  the  remainder  in  their 
work.  In  heavy  weather,  a  sailing-ship  was  much  less 
manageable  than  a  steamer,  and  when  once  injured,  in- 
finitely more  helpless,  while  in  case  of  shipwreck,  there 
were  far  fewer  chances  of  being  picked  up  than  there  are 
nowadays,  and  many  coasts  now  belonging  to  civilised 
countries  were  then  inhabited  by  savages.  The  eastern 
coast  of  Cape  Colony,  with  its  terrible  "  Caffrees,"  was 
a  locality  specially  dreaded.  When  there  was  war — 
which  was  generally  the  case  in  the  latter  half  of  the 
eighteenth  century  —  there  were  the  additional  risks  of 
violent  death  or  a  long  captivity  to  be  faced.  The  once- 
famous  Mrs  Sherwood,  in  her  Autobiography,  describes 
an  action  between  a  French  ship  and  that  in  which  her 
husband's  regiment  was  on  its  way  to  India.  The  canvas 
partitions  which  formed  the  cabins  were  removed,  cots 
and  every  article  of  furniture  and  all  personal  belongings 
swept  from  the  decks,  and  the  women  and  children  were 
hurried  down  into  the  hold,  where  they  remained  below 
the  water-line  in  darkness  and  terror,  hearing  the  sounds 
of  battle,  but  not  knowing  what  was  happening,  until  the 
enemy  was  beaten  off,  and  they  were  hauled  up  into  the 
light  of  day  once  more. 

1  'Hartly  House,  Calcutta.' 


l8o  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

When  all  these  facts  are  taken  into  consideration,  the 
haunting  horror  with  which  Hastings  viewed  his  wife's 
voyage  home  becomes  more  comprehensible.  For  him, 
as  is  the  case  with  most  imaginative  men,  the  terrors 
conjured  up  by  the  mind  were  far  worse  to  bear  than 
those  which  the  eyes  beheld.  Writing  to  Anderson  in 
his  old  age,  he  reminds  him  that  he  always  insisted  on 
seeing  the  danger :  "  At  sea  in  a  tempest,  I  could  not 
keep  my  cabin,  though  I  did  no  good,  and  was  in  the 
officers'  way." 1  The  fact  that  he  had  himself  urged  and 
almost  enforced  her  departure  caused  him  all  the  more 
poignant  misery  in  view  of  the  perils  over  which  he 
brooded,  and  which  he  assured  himself,  with  the  natural 
and  irrational  conviction  of  the  lover,  he  could  have 
averted  had  he  been  present.  Of  Mrs  Hastings'  feel- 
ings on  the  subject,  only  one  slight  trace  remains.  She 
seems  to  have  accepted  the  verdict  of  her  husband  and 
the  doctors  in  a  spirit  of  calm  common-sense,  if  we  may 
judge  from  a  letter  written  in  1811  to  her  son  Charles, 
whose  wife  found  the  climate  of  Jersey,  where  he  was 
quartered,  injurious  to  her  health,  but  refused  to  leave 
him.  "  Her  valuable  life  is  at  stake,"  writes  her  mother- 
in-law,  "if  she  persists  in  her  resolution  of  not  quiting 
you. — Had  I  done  so,  when  in  India,  and  not  listten 
the  voice  of  my  Husband — you  would  not  have  knowen 
the  blessing  of  a  Mother  —  nor  Hastings  of  his  present 
Comforter,  and  Companion"  It  is  very  probable  that 
knowing  her  husband  would  shortly  follow  her,  she  was 
not  sorry  to  have  the  opportunity  of  preparing  the  way 
for  him  in  England.  His  desires  and  expectations 
were  very  moderate  compared  with  hers,  and  it  was  well 
to  have  it  thoroughly  understood  what  was  the  least 
she  was  prepared  to  accept. 

1  Gleig,  III.  503. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER    I.  l8l 


LETTER   I. 

On  January  2nd,  according  to  the  '  India  Gazette,'  the 
Governor-General  left  Calcutta  to  accompany  his  lady  to 
Kedgeree,  where  she  would  embark  in  the  Atlas  for  home. 
In  '  Hartly  House,'  what  purports  to  be  a  description  of 
Mrs  Hastings'  last  voyage  down  the  river  is  given,  but  it 
is  clear  that  the  author  was  either  writing  on  insufficient 
information  or  deceived  by  an  untrustworthy  memory,  for 
she  supposes  that  Hastings  himself  was  also  sailing  for 
England.  Speaking  of  the  voyage  of  a  gentleman  in 
whom  she  is  interested,  the  heroine  says  that  his  "de- 
parture has  been  only  a  prelude  to  the  loss  of  our 
Governor,  and  every  creature  is  plunged  into  discon- 
solation.  .  .  .  The  whole  place  is  engaged  in  adieus, 

and   Mrs   H will  be  accompanied  to  England  (for 

the  Governor  sails  in  a  different  ship)  by  a  Mrs  M , 

who  has  been  presented  with  500  gold  mohrs  (;£iooo), 
in  return  for  her  complaisance  in  making  the  voyage 
with  her.  Two  black  girls,  and  a  steward,  are  Mrs 
H 's  attendants,  and  the  state  cabin  and  round- 
house will  be  entirely  devoted  to  her  use."  The  extra- 
ordinary mistake  made  in  this  paragraph  would  surely 
be  impossible  to  any  one  who  had  been  in  Calcutta  at 
the  time,  even  though  writing  after  a  lapse  of  five  years, 
and  it  would  therefore  appear  that  the  author  had  already 
left  India,  and  did  her  best  in  1789  to  harmonize  what 
must  have  seemed  to  her  the  contradictory  accounts  of 
the  departure  of  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings. 

The  gossips  of  Calcutta,  even  in  Macaulay's  day,  still 
remembered  the  devotion  of  the  long-departed  Governor- 
General  to  his  wife,  for  the  reference  in  the  Essay  to 
"the  luxurious  manner  in  which  he  fitted  up  the  round- 
house of  an  Indiaman  for  her  accommodation  (and) 
the  profusion  of  sandalwood  and  carved  ivory  which 
adorned  her  cabin,"  is  not  taken,  so  far  as  the  present 


l82  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

writer  has  discovered,  from  any  book  or  newspaper  of 
the  time,  though  "the  thousands  of  rupees  which  had 
been  expended  in  order  to  procure  for  her  the  society 
of  an  agreeable  female  companion  during  the  voyage " 
may  be  due  to  the  novel  quoted  above.  The  lady 
referred  to  as  Mrs  M —  -  is,  of  course,  the  faithful 
Mrs  Motte,  whose  unfortunate  husband  was  now,  as  he 
expresses  it,  "sold  to  his  creditors"  for  three  years. 
He  held  the  appointment  of  head  of  the  Calcutta  police, 
which  seems  a  curious  position  for  an  undischarged 
bankrupt,  but  presumably  the  creditors  enjoyed  the 
salary  attached  to  it. 

CULPEE  (Kalpi),  from  which  this  letter  is  dated,  is 
forty-eight  miles  below  Calcutta,  on  the  same  side  of 
the  river.  Seven  miles  above  it  is  Diamond  Harbour, 
which  was  the  highest  point  that  could  be  reached  by 
the  Indiamen.  (In  some  old  books  the  names  of  Culpee 
and  Diamond  Harbour  are  used  synonymously.)  Here 
incoming  passengers  were  trans-shipped  into  budgerows 
for  the  brief  remainder  of  their  voyage,  and  here  pas- 
sengers leaving  for  home  usually  went  on  board  their 
ships.  It  was  not  considered  safe  for  budgerows  to  go 
further  down  the  river,  and  here  the  fleet  which  had 
escorted  Mrs  Hastings  from  Calcutta  with  flags  and  music 
(if  the  author  of  '  Hartly  House '  is  really  referring  to  her 
departure,  and  not  to  that  of  her  husband),  would  bid 
her  farewell.  But  the  Atlas  was  lying  at  Kedgeree, 
twenty  miles  lower  down,  on  the  opposite  bank,  ready 
for  sea,  and  this  part  of  the  journey  would  have  to  be 
performed  in  a  pinnace  (which  was  larger  and  swifter 
than  a  budgerow),1  as  is  clear  from  Hastings'  saying 
that  he  met  his  budgerow  again  at  Culpee,  and  from 
the  allusion  in  Letter  VII. 

Of  MR  DOVETON  the  present  writer  has  been  able  to 
discover  nothing.  He  may  have  been  an  aide-de-camp 
sent  to  attend  Mrs  Hastings  out  of  the  river,  or,  as  Dr 

1  Colesworthy  Grant. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER   I.  183 

Busteed  suggests,  an  official  in  charge  of  the  mails.  The 
mention  of  him  in  Letter  IX.  seems  to  confirm  the  latter 
supposition. 

Miss  TOUCHET  had  of  course  accompanied  the  party  in 
order  to  bid  farewell  to  her  sister,  Mrs  Motte.  She  seems 
to  have  remained  in  India  to  keep  house  for  her  brother 
Peter.  Writing  in  1789,  Mr  Motte  says,  "  Peter  Touchet 
and  Sally  are  arrived,  and  he  soon  got  the  appointment  of 
the  aurung  (silk-factory),  at  Guttaul,  where  she  generally 
resides  with  him.  It  is  rather  solitary  for  a  person  of  her 
lively  turn,  however  she  has  sentiment  enough  to  make 
any  place  agreeable." 

CULPEE,  Sunday  evening,  nth  January,  1784. 

MY  BELOVED  WIFE, — I  trust  to  the  Chance  of  Mrs 
Sands  reaching  the  Cape  before  you  leave  it,  for  the  safe 
Delivery  of  this  Letter,  but  I  have  little  to  write,  and 
scarce  a  Motive  for  writing  but  to  gratify  my  own 
Feelings.  I  left  you  yesterday  Morning ;  I  followed  your 
Ship  with  my  eyes  till  I  could  no  longer  see  it,  and  passed 
a  most  wretched  Day  with  a  Heart  swoln  with  Affliction, 
and  a  Head  raging  with  Pain. — I  have  been  3  Tides 
making  this  Place,  where  I  met  my  Budgerow,  and  in  it 
a  severe  Renewal  of  my  Sorrow.  The  instant  Sight  of 
the  Cabbin,  and  every  Object  in  it,  and  beyond  it,  brought 
my  dear  Marian  to  my  Imagination  with  the  deadly  Re- 
flexion that  She  was  then  more  than  200  Miles  removed 
from  me,  and  still  receding  to  a  Distance  which  seems  in 
my  Estimation  infinite  and  irretrievable.  In  the  heavy 
Interval  which  I  have  passed  I  have  had  but  too  much 
Leisure  to  contemplate  the  Wretchedness  of  my  Situa- 
tion, and  to  regret  (forgive  me,  my  dearest  Marian ;  I 
cannot  help  it)  that  I  ever  consented  to  your  leaving  me. 
It  appears  to  me  like  a  precipitate  Act  of  the  grossest 


184  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Folly ;  for  what  have  I  to  look  for,  but  an  Age  of  Separa- 
tion, and  if  ever  we  are  to  meet  again,  to  carry  home  to 
you  a  Burthen  of  Infirmities,  and  a  Mind  soured  perhaps 
with  long,  long  and  unabated  Vexation. — Nor  is  it  for 
myself  alone  I  feel,  though  I  have  been  possibly  more 
occupied  than  I  ought  to  have  been  by  the  Contempla- 
tion and  Sensation  of  my  own  sufferings.  Yours  have 
been,  and  I  am  sure  they  are  at  this  Time  greater  than 
my  own ;  and  I  fear  for  their  effects  on  your  Health. — I 
shall  dread  the  sight  of  Mr  Doveton  :  Yet,  O  God  of 
Heaven,  grant  me  good  Tidings  by  him. — Indeed,  my 
Marian,  I  think  that  we  have  ill  judged  ;  The  Reflexion 
has  often  for  an  Instant  occurred  to  me  that  we  were 
wrong ;  but  I  constantly  repressed  it ;  I  urged  every 
Thing  that  could  fix  the  Resolution  beyond  the  Power  of 
Recall,  and  felt  a  conscious  Pride  in  the  Sacrifice  I  was 
preparing  to  make. — It  is  now  past ! 

I  said  that  I  should  trust  to  the  Chance  of  Mrs  Sands 
delivering  this  letter  to  you  at  the  Cape. — She  is  now  in 
the  Danish  Ship,  once  the  Fortitude,  lying  at  this  Place, 
and  expects  to  leave  the  River  on  thursday  next.  Pos- 
sibly she  may  be  later.  I  will  send  another  letter  to  her 
from  Town.  I  shall  sail  again  with  this  Night's  Tide, 
and  if  I  find  myself  within  Reach  of  Calcutta  in  the  next, 
I  intend  to  finish  my  Voyage  to  morrow  in  the  Feelchehra. 
Possibly  my  Apprehensions  may  be  less  gloomy  when  I 
have  quitted  this  weary  scene,  but  of  One  Thing  I  am 
certain,  that  no  Time  nor  Habits  will  remove  the  Pressure 
of  your  Image  from  my  Heart,  nor  from  my  Spirits,  nor 
would  I  remove  it,  if  I  could,  though  it  prove  a  perpetual 
Torment  to  me. 

Yesterday  as  I  lay  upon  my  Bed,  and  but  half  asleep, 


SERIES   III. — LETTER   II.  185 

I  felt  a  sensation  like  the  Fingers  of  your  Hand  gently 
moving  over  my  Face  and  Neck,  and  could  have  sworn 
that  I  heard  your  Voice.  O  that  I  could  be  sure  of  such 
an  Illusion  as  often  as  I  lay  down ! — And  the  Reality 
seerns  to  me  an  Illusion.  Yesterday  morning  I  held  in 
my  Arms  all  that  my  Heart  holds  dear,  and  now  she  is 
separated  from  me  as  if  She  had  no  longer  Existence.  O 
my  Marian,  I  am  wretched;  and  I  shall  make  you  so 
when  you  read  this.  Yet,  I  know  not  why,  I  must  let  it 
go,  nor  can  I  add  any  Thing  to  alleviate  what  I  have 
written  ;  but  that  I  love  you  more  by  far  than  Life,  for  I 
would  not  live  but  in  the  Hope  of  being  once  more  united 
to  you.  O  God  Grant  it,  and  grant  my  deserving, 
my  blessed  Marian  Fortitude  to  bear  what  I  myself 
bear  so  ill,  conduct  her  in  Health  and  Safety  to  the 
Termination  of  her  Voyage,  and  Once  more  restore  her 
to  me  with  every  Thing  that  can  render  our  Meeting 
completely  happy  !  Amen  !  Amen  !  Amen  !  Your  ever 
ever  affectionate  W.  HASTINGS. 

P.S.  .  I  have  seen  Miss  Tt.  (Touchet).  She  is  well. 
Give  my  Love  to  your  dear  and  happy  Friend.  Adieu. 
Adieu. 

LETTER    II. 

The  IVORY  COT  here  mentioned  was  left  behind  by 
mistake  when  Hastings  sailed  for  England,  and  he  desires 
Thompson  "  to  inquire  for,  and  to  send  my  ivory  cot."  l 
It  was  shipped  in  the  Hinchinbrooke,  together  with  four 
valuable  ivory  chairs  sent  by  Munny  Begum  for  Mrs 
Hastings,  and  the  Arab  horse  Soliman.  The  vessel  was 

1  Gleig,  III.  290. 


l86  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

lost  on  her  voyage  home.  Bedsteads  of  ivory  and  plated 
with  silver  were  among  the  goods  belonging  to  Mrs 
Hastings  which  were  detained  in  the  Customs  on  her 
arrival  in  England.1  The  Seir-ul-Mutaqharin  mentions 
"  the  four  feet  of  a  bedstead  carved  in  ivory,"  as  among 
the  "  delicate  presents  "  which  may  suitably  be  offered  on 
ceremonial  occasions. 

The  unfortunate  NABOB  OF  OWD  was  still  drifting 
helplessly  on  a  sea  of  troubles.  The  Treaty  of  Chanar, 
made  at  his  own  entreaty,  was  practically  repudiated  as 
soon  as  he  realised  that  it  involved  the  resumption  of  the 
jaghirs  which  he  had  granted  to  his  own  unworthy  favour- 
ites as  well  as  those  of  his  mother  and  grandmother. 
Once  away  from  Hastings,  he  passed  again  under  the 
domination  of  the  dissolute  crew  surrounding  him.  The 
Begums  and  the  other  jaghirdars  were  alike  left  in  peace, 
and  the  debt  to  the  Company  remained  unpaid  and  in- 
creasing.2 In  this  state  of  things  the  Resident,  Middle- 
ton,  acquiesced  with  a  complaisance  that  rouses  grave 
suspicion  as  to  his  motives.  At  length,  stimulated  by 
stern  orders  from  Hastings,  Middleton  put  pressure  upon 
the  Nawab,  who  took  action,  and  the  jaghirs  were  re- 
sumed and  a  certain  portion  of  the  treasure  detained  by 
the  Begums  extorted  from  them.  A  large  proportion  of 
the  Nawab-Vizier's  debt  was  paid  off,  but  a  dangerous 
precedent  had  been  set  as  to  the  impunity  with  which 
his  wishes  might  be  disregarded.  Middleton's  slackness 
led  to  his  recall,  and  he  was  succeeded  by  Bristow, 
the  favourite  of  the  Majority,  who  had  preceded  him. 
Thoroughly  distrusting  the  man,  Hastings  hoped  that 
gratitude  might  secure  his  good  behaviour,  but  Bristow 
improved  on  the  practice  of  Middleton,  who  had  acted 
in  collusion  with  the  Nawab-Vizier's  minister,  Haidar 
Beg  Khan,  by  arrogating  all  the  powers  of  government  to 
himself.3  In  the  hands  of  a  strong  and  just  ruler,  even 
an  illegal  usurpation  such  as  this  might  have  been  pro- 

1  See  infra,  p.  394.  2  Debates.  3  Gleig,  III.  119. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   II.  187 

ductive  of  benefit  to  the  state,  but  while  Bristow's  word 
was  law  at  Lucknow,  the  wildest  anarchy  prevailed  every- 
where outside  the  city.  It  was  a  curious  sign  of  the 
times  that  the  Nawab- Vizier  and  his  mother,  the  Bow 
Begum,  were  brought  together  by  the  universal  distress, 
and  united  in  entreating  help  of  Hastings,  as  the  general 
friend,  against  the  common  enemy,  Bristow.1 

MR  STABLES  was  the  Member  of  Council  appointed  to 
fill  Francis's  place.  He  was  a  relation  of  Hastings'  friend 
Baber,2  and  was  believed  by  Laurence  Sulivan  and  other 
supporters  at  home  to  be  entirely  devoted  to  the  Governor- 
General.  Even  Scott  was  deceived  by  Lord  North's  open 
profession  of  a  desire  to  support  him  unequivocally  in 
sending  Stables  out.3  Stables  took  his  seat  in  Council  on 
November  nth,  1782,  and  Hastings,  writing  to  Lord 
Shelburne  in  December  of  that  year,  speaks  with  the 
greatest  enthusiasm  of  both  him  and  McPherson,  as 
"men  of  unexampled  benevolence  and  equality  of  tem- 
per, of  uncommon  but  different  talents,  and  all  warmed 
with  a  cordial  affection  to  each  other,  and  a  confidence 
in  mine  to  them,  and  in  my  experience  and  integrity."  4 
The  first  note  of  dissatisfaction  appears  in  a  letter  to 
Laurence  Sulivan,  at  the  end  of  March,  1783,  after  the 
censure  passed  by  the  Court  of  Directors  on  the  pro- 
ceedings relative  to  Chait  Singh  had  been  received.  "  I 
foresee  that  I  shall  be  less  able  to  act  with  (these  col- 
leagues) than  I  now  am,"  writes  the  Governor-General.5 
Things  went  from  bad  to  worse,  so  that  in  October  of 
the  same  year,  "  Macpherson,  who  is  himself  all  sweet- 
ness, attaches  himself  everlastingly  to  Stables,  blows 
him  up  into  a  continual  tumour,  which  he  takes  .care 
to  prevent  from  subsiding,  and  Stables,  from  no  other 
cause  that  I  know,  opposes  me  with  a  rancour  so  un- 
common, that  it  extends  even  to  his  own  friends,  if  my 
wishes  chance  to  precede  his  own  in  any  proposal  to  serve 

1  Gleig,  III.  130.  2  Ibid.,  136.  3  Ibid.,  II.  483. 

4  Ibid.,  III.  29.  5  Ibid.,  56. 


l88  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

them.  In  Council  he  sits  sulky  and  silent,  waiting  to 
declare  his  opinion  when  mine  is  recorded;  or  if  he 
speaks,  it  is  to  ask  questions  of  cavil,  or  to  contradict, 
in  language  not  very  guarded,  and  with  a  tone  of  in- 
solence which  I  should  ill  bear  from  an  equal,  and  which 
often  throws  me  off  the  guard  of  my  prudence ;  for,  my 
dear  Scott,  I  have  not  that  collected  firmness  of  mind  which 
I  once  possessed,  and  which  gave  me  such  a  superiority 
in  my  contests  with  Clavering  and  his  associates.  .  .  . 
One  thing  let  me  add  to  close  the  subject ;  I  early  re- 
monstrated with  Stables  on  his  conduct,  and  asked  him 
if,  in  my  personal  behaviour  to  him,  I  had  given  him  any 
ground  of  offence.  He  declared  that  I  had  not,  but 
treated  him  with  an  attention  and  confidence  which  had 
always  given  him  the  greatest  pleasure,  or  words  to  that 
effect ;  but  talked  of  his  situation,  Company's  orders,  and 
expenses.  ...  I  in  my  heart  forgive  General  Clavering 
for  all  the  injuries  he  did  me.  He  was  my  avowed 
enemy.  These  are  my  dear  friends,  whom  Mr  Sulivan 
pronounced  incapable  of  being  moved  from  me  by  any 
consideration  on  earth."  Poor  Mr  Sulivan  recognised 
later  that  he  had  been  made  the  dupe  of  McPherson  and 
Stables,  and  deplored  having  "  sent  Snakes  into  Mr 
Hastings'  bosom."  The  sullenness  of  Stables'  temper 
seems  to  have  been  the  characteristic  that  impressed 
itself  most  readily  on  men's  minds,  but  Thompson, 
writing  to  Hastings  in  1787,  mentions  an  even  more 
disagreeable  one.  He  "  came  frequently  to  Alipoor — 
and  were  not  gross  Hypocrisy  one  of  the  most  striking 
Features  of  his  Character,  one  would  have  thought  that 
he  came  for  the  melancholy  Pleasure  of  deploring  your 
Absence  on  the  Spot  which  had  been  most  blessed  with 
your  Presence — every  Shrub  reminded  him  of  you — the 
very  Stocks  and  Stones  were  eloquent,  and  prompted  him 
to  repeat  as  if  only  from  their  suggestions,  'Alas,  poor 
Hastings.'  These  were  his  very  Words — and  it  is  from  his 
Lips  alone  perhaps  that  they  could  have  given  me  Pain." 


SERIES    III. — LETTER    II.  l8g 

Lieutenant  SAMUEL  TURNER,  the  Governor-General's 
cousin  and  aide-de-camp,  was  at  present  away  on  his 
mission  to  Tibet.  Hastings  writes  to  Mr  and  Mrs 
Woodman  in  November,  1783,  "Young  Turner  is  now 
on  an  Embassy  to  the  land  of  Tibbet.  He  has  with 
much  address  and  propriety  of  conduct  overcome  some 
difficulties  which  retarded  his  progress,  and  is  by  this 
time  at  the  place  of  his  destination.  The  people  of  that 
country,  who  are  yet  little  known  to  the  European  world, 
are  hospitable  and  civilised,  and  the  Climate  colder  than 
England.  The  expedition  will  do  him  credit,  and  his 
health  will  be  the  better  for  it."  The  Tashi  Lama  who 
had  received  Hastings'  former  envoy,  George  Bogle,  with 
so  much  friendliness,  and  inspired  him  with  such  con- 
fidence, had  died  mysteriously  while  on  a  visit  to  China — 
a  loss  which  was  to  prove  the  death-blow  to  all  hopes  of 
commerce  and  intercourse  with  Tibet — but  Turner  was 
received  with  honour  at  Teeshoo  Loomboo,  as  he  calls 
Tashi-lhunpo,  and  given  apartments  in  the  monastery. 
He  arrived  there  on  October  ijth,  1783,  a  hundred  and 
twenty -one  years,  to  the  day,  before  Captains  Ryder 
and  Rawling  and  their  recent  scientific  expedition.  In 
December  he  was  allowed  to  visit  the  Terpaling  monas- 
tery, and  was  received  by  the  infant  in  whom  the  spirit 
of  the  "Teeshoo  Lama"  was  supposed  to  be  reincarnated. 
He  has  left  a  quaint  account  of  his  audience.1  The  little 
Tashi  Lama,  who  was  only  eighteen  months  old,  was  at- 
tended by  his  father  and  mother,  and  the  former  spoke 
for  him,  but,  says  Turner,  "  the  little  creature  turned 
looking  steadfastly  towards  me  with  the  appearance  of 
much  attention  while  I  spoke,  and  nodded  with  repeated 
but  slow  movements  of  the  head  as  though  he  understood 
and  approved  every  word,  but  could  not  utter  a  reply." 

LADY  CHAMBERS  was  the  wife  of  Robert  Chambers, 
one  of  the  Judges  of  the  Supreme  Court,  and  a  friend 
of  Dr  Johnson,  who  gave  him  a  letter  of  introduction  to 

1  State  Papers. 


IQO  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Hastings.  "  Chambers  is  going  a  Judge,  with  six 
thousand  a-year,  to  Bengal,"  writes  Johnson  to  Boswell, 
in  July,  1773,  and  early  the  next  year,  "  Chambers  is 
either  married,  or  almost  married,  to  Miss  Wilton,  a  girl 
of  sixteen,  exquisitely  beautiful,  whom  he  has,  with  his 
lawyer's  tongue,  persuaded  to  take  her  chance  with  him 
in  the  East."  Mrs  Fay,  to  whom  Lady  Chambers  showed 
the  greatest  kindness,  says  in  1780  that  she  was  in  the 
bloom  of  youth,  frank,  lovely,  fascinating,  and  kind.  She 
was  devoted  to  music,  and  at  one  of  the  Harmonic 
concerts  Mrs  Fay  heard  her  play  a  sonata  of  Nicolai's, 
which  seems  to  have  been  rather  above  the  heads  of  the 
audience,  on  the  harpsichord.  She  went  nowhere  with- 
out her  husband,  and  when  he  was  confined  to  the  house 
for  some  weeks  owing  to  an  accident,  she  astonished 
Calcutta  by  secluding  herself  also.  Mrs  Chambers,  Sir 
Robert's  aged  mother,  whom  Mrs  Fay  describes  as  a 
fine  -  looking,  respectable  old  lady,  cheerful  and  well- 
informed,  had  come  to  India  with  them,  but  died  under 
sad  circumstances  in  1782.  Their  eldest  boy,  aged  six, 
was  sent  home  for  education,  and  five  days  after  his 
departure,  his  grandmother  died  of  grief.  Sad  to  relate, 
the  boy  himself  was  among  the  lost  in  the  terrible  wreck 
of  the  Grosvenor  on  the  eastern  coast  of  Cape  Colony.1 
Sir  Robert  was  made  Judge  of  Chinsura  and  Chander- 
nagor  in  1781,  which  brought  him  under  the  condemna- 
tion meted  out  to  Impey  for  accepting  a  place  of  profit 
under  the  Council.  On  June  24th,  1782,  Francis's  ally, 
General  Richard  Smith,2  actually  brought  forward  in  the 
House  of  Commons  a  motion  to  censure  him,  which 
would  have  been  followed  by  one  for  his  recall,  had  not 
a  Scotch  member  of  the  recent  Secret  Committee,  the 
deliberations  of  which  had  been  treated  so  contumeliously 
by  the  Court  of  Proprietors,  arisen,  full  of  wounded 
dignity,  to  complain  that  there  was  no  use  in  doing 
anything,  and  the  storm  blew  over.3 

1  Busteed.  2  See  infra,  p.  259.  3  Gleig,  II.  481. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   II.  IQI 

CALCUTTA,     i^tk  January,  1784. 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN, — I  will  number  my  Letters, 
that  you  may  know  if  any  are  missing.  My  first  was 
written  at  Culpee,  and  sent  to  Mrs  Sands,  whose  Ship 
was  lying  at  that  Place.  I  intend  this  also  for  the  same 
Charge,  if  it  is  in  Time.  I  finished  my  Voyage  in  the 
Feelchehra,  and  arrived  here  at  5  yesterday  Evening. 

I  am  not  yet  reconciled  to  our  Separation,  and  it  seems 
to  me  the  greatest  of  all  Follies  that  I  should  have  taken 
So  much  Trouble  to  make  myself  miserable,  and  you 
unhappy,  who  were  the  Object  of  it. — I  can  now  conceive 
many  Expedients  by  which  the  Purpose  of  your  Voyage 
might  have  been  as  effectually  answered,  and  what  may 
you  not  have  suffered  even  in  your  Health  from  this ! 
— But  I  will  complain  no  more. — Since  my  Return  I  have 
had  so  much  Employment  for  my  Mind  that  it  has  been 
much  relieved ;  yet  the  Instant  that  I  am  left  to  myself 
(and  my  Ivory  Cot  affords  me  no  Comfort)  all  my  Dis- 
tresses rush  back  upon  my  Thoughts,  and  present  every 
Thing  in  the  most  gloomy  Prospect,  besides  the  frequent 
Risings  of  Anguish  that  swell  my  Breast  even  in  my  most 
busy  Occupations.  —  In  this  Occupation  only  I  find  a 
Relief.  I  talk  to  you ;  but  I  receive  no  Answer,  nor 
can  you  hear  me  till  I  shall  have  forgotten  what  I 
have  written.  I  miss  the  sweet  Music  of  your  Voice 
which  none  but  myself  has  ever  heard,  and  the  Looks 
of  Heaven  which  I  am  sure  have  never  been  cast  but 
on  me  alone. — I  strive  by  the  Violence  of  Imagination 
to  see  and  hear  you  ;  but  I  cannot  yet  effect  it.  Yet 
you  are  not  a  Moment  from  my  Remembrance,  nor 
would  I  for  the  World  that  you  should  lose  your 
place  there,  though  you  are  a  Torment  to  me. 


IQ2  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

I  do  not  expect  Doveton  back  these  Ten  Days,  and 
with  what  Terror  shall  I  meet  him !  Yet  how  im- 
patiently do  I  wait  to  see  him !  May  he  bring  me  good 
Tidings  of  you,  and  I  will  be  comforted  for  all  the  past. 
From  the  State  in  which  he  leaves  you  I  shall  form  my 
Judgment,  and  with  Confidence,  of  the  Remainder  of 
your  Voyage. — Remainder  !  Good  God !  what  a  length 
is  yet  to  come !  And  how  much  more  before  I  can  begin 
mine  that  is  to  carry  me  to  you  ! 

But  enough :  enough.    .    .    . 

I  expect  to  receive  a  very  earnest  Call  from  the  Nabob 
of  Owd  to  go  to  his  Assistance.  I  shall  obey  it,  if  my 
Colleagues  will  let  me,  and  in  that  Case  I  shall  probably 
set  out  about  the  Middle  of  next  Month.  I  shall  have 
much  to  do,  and  shall  not  be  sorry  if  it  keeps  me  in 
Employment  to  the  Close  of  my  Service.  I  cannot 
devote  myself  to  a  better  Cause,  nor  finish  my  Labors 
more  reputably  if  I  am  successful. — It  will  suit  also  with 
the  State  of  my  Mind  which  can  less  bear  to  be  inactive 
now  than  ever. — Mr  Stables  is  on  the  Eve  of  an  Excur- 
sion to  Mongheer,  and  I  have  only  yet  made  known  to 
Mr  Wheler  my  Intention.  I  know  not  whether  he  will 
support  it  singly. 

I  have  just  received  a  very  curious  Letter  from  Turner, 
which  I  have  had  a  Copy  made  of  for  your  Entertain- 
ment. I  send  with  it  a  Letter  from  him  for  you,  and 
another  from  Lady  Chambers. 

I  have  not  yet  begun  to  form  my  plan  of  Living ;  but 
am  resolved  on  the  early  Commencement  of  that  Part 
of  it  which  you  know. — I  looked  in  vain  for  what  I 
thought  I  had  packed  up  and  carried  off  by  Mistake 
from  your  Cabbin.  Alas ! — even  this  Disappointment 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   III.  193 

afflicted  me.      How  great  is  my  Weakness !      You  will 
have  forgot  to  what  I  allude. — Once  more  Adieu,  Adieu, 
my  beloved,  most  beloved  and  most  deserving  Marian. 
God  support  and  prosper  you.     Amen  !    .    .    .    W.  H. 
I  am  well. 


LETTER   III. 

CAPTAIN  COWPER  (he  signs  himself  Allen  Cooper), 
commanded  the  Atlas.  Hastings  writes  to  the  Wood- 
mans,  "  This  disappointment  (his  staying  a  year  longer 
in  India),  is  doubly  aggravated  by  the  cruel  separation 
which  I  must  in  the  mean  Time  undergo  from  Mrs 
Hastings,  who  could  not  remain  longer  without  the 
manifest  hazard  of  being  lost  to  me  for  ever.  She  will 
sail  in  the  Atlas,  with  Captain  Cowper,  a  very  good  man, 
very  early  in  January,  and  you  may  expect  to  see  her  in 
June."  Markham  writes  of  the  captain  from  St  Helena, 
"  Cooper  is  a  most  excellent  man,  and  exerts  every 

endeavour  to  make  Mrs  H comfortable."     He  must 

have  felt  his  civility  ill  rewarded,  for  there  is  a  curious 
letter  written  by  him  in  1785,  complaining  that  he  had 
made  a  bad  speculation  in  taking  Mrs  Hastings  home. 
When  Major  Davy,  who  was  making  the  arrangements 
for  her  passage,  asked  him  what  he  would  charge,  he 
refused  to  mention  any  definite  price,  saying  that  he  left 
it  to  him,  though  he  wished  him  to  know  that  the  object 
of  his  voyage  was  to  make  a  sum  by  his  passengers. 
Having  thus  delicately  intimated  his  desires,  he  was 
induced,  after  much  entreaty,  to  state  that  the  whole 
ship  (i.e.,  the  passenger  accommodation),  should  be  at 
Mrs  Hastings'  disposal  for  50,000  sicca  rupees  (£6250), 
which  was  what  Captain  Carr  had  received,  presumably 
for  taking  the  Impeys  home  in  the  Worcester.  Major 
Davy  considered  the  sum  excessive,  but  said  that  the 

N 


IQ4  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Governor  -  General  would  give  40,000  sicca  rupees 
(£5000),  for  Mrs  Hastings'  passage  —  this  secured  her 
the  state  cabin  and  round-house,  as  we  know  —  and 
in  addition  1000  rupees  for  the  chief  mate's  cabin, 
which  was  to  accommodate  Mrs  Motte,  and  500  for 
the  doctor's  cabin  as  far  as  St  Helena  for  Captain 
Phipps.  This  Captain  Cooper  accepted,  probably  con- 
gratulating himself  upon  accomplishing  the  object  of  his 
voyage,  but  when  it  came  to  the  payment  of  the  money, 
Croftes,  who  had  the  matter  in  charge,  persuaded  him 
to  take  it  in  "  muzlins  "  of  his  own  manufacture,  assuring 
him  that  as  he  would  charge  no  commission,  there  would 
be  a  profit  of  twenty-five  per  cent  on  the  bargain.  The 
thrifty  Captain  Cooper  seems  to  have  grasped  greedily 
at  the  prospect  of  a  further  advantage,  but  when  he 
reached  home,  far  from  realising  his  twenty-five  per  cent, 
he  found  that  the  muslins  sold  for  £600  less  than  the 
sum  originally  fixed.  He  appeals  for  compensation,  and 
Thompson  represented  the  matter  to  Croftes's  partner 
— Croftes  himself  being  on  the  verge  of  bankruptcy. 
The  partner  promised  satisfaction,  and  presumably  gave 
it,  as  Captain  Cooper  writes  no  more  letters. 

CAPTAIN  PHIPPS  was  an  aide  -de  -  camp  deputed  to 
escort  Mrs  Hastings  as  far  as  St  Helena,  and  when  she 
left,  to  return  to  India  with  news  of  her.  His  arrival 
is  mentioned  in  Letter  XXV.1 

ADVERTISEMENTS  relating  to  the  sale  of  Alipur  and 
Rishera  are  found  in  the  '  India  Gazette '  for  January 
24th,  March  6th,  and  April  igth.  Rishera  is  described  as 
"an  extensive  piece  of  Ground  belonging  to  Warren 
Hastings,  Esq. ;  called  Rishara,  and  situated  on  the 
western  banks  of  the  river,  two  miles  below  Serampore, 
consisting  of  136  Biggahs  and  18  Cottahs  of  Lakherauge 
Land,  or  Land  paying  no  Rent." 

'  LADY  D'OYLY  was  the  wife  of  Hastings'  faithful  friend 
Sir  John  Hadley  D'Oyly,  Bart.     Her  maiden  name  was 

1  See  infra,  pp.  333,  335. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER    III.  195 

Diana  Rochfort,  and  she  was  married  first  to  a  Mr  Coles, 
by  whom  she  had  a  son  and  daughter.  Her  children  by 
Sir  John  were  Charles  and  John,1  who  successively  in- 
herited the  baronetcy,  Maynard,  who  married  Walter, 
son  of  Sir  Walter  Farquhar,  and  Harriet,  who  married 
George,  a  younger  son  of  Sir  Francis  Baring.  She  is 
never  mentioned  in  the  Correspondence  but  with  admir- 
ing affection,  and  her  husband  speaks  of  "  that  playful 
innocence  of  Mind  which  she  possessed  beyond  almost 
any  Woman  I  ever  met  with."  This  was  after  her  death 
in  1803,  when  Sir  John  returned  to  India.  She  was 
buried  at  Cheltenham,  and  her  husband  left  the  care  of 
her  monument  as  a  sacred  charge  to  Hastings.  He  took 
endless  trouble  over  the  epitaph  and  the  stone  itself,  and 
there  are  among  his  papers  two  or  three  copies  of  the 
inscription,  and  a  number  of  letters  to  various  friends 
inviting  their  criticism. 

AUGUSTUS  CLEVLAND  or  CLEVELAND  2  was  magistrate 
and  collector  of  Rajmahal  and  Bhagalpur,  and  deserves 
an  enduring  fame  as  the  first  British  Indian  adminis- 
trator to  establish  friendly  relations  with  the  Hill  tribes. 
Hodges,  in  an  enthusiastic  account  of  his  surround- 
ings and  work  at  Bhagalpur,  describes  the  "  Puharrys  " 
(Paharis)  and  their  country,  the  Jungleterry,  mentioning 
that  they  had  been  a  terror  to  all  former  governments, 
and  that  large  tracts  of  fertile  land  were  left  uninhabited 
from  fear  of  their  raids.  Cleveland  went  into  the  hills 
alone  and  unarmed,  and  succeeded  in  making  friends  with 
a  deputation  of  chiefs  that  was  sent  to  meet  him.  The 
whole  race  wished  to  see  him  after  hearing  the  chiefs' 
report,  and  he  heightened  the  good  impression  he  had 
produced  by  giving  beads  to  the  children  and  sending 

1  See  infra,  pp.  403,  442. 

2  Mr  Bradley  Birt,  in  the  '  Stoiy  of  an  Indian  Upland,'  says  that  the  name 
is.spelt  Clevland  in  Cleveland's  baptismal  certificate  and  his  petition  to  the 
Company,  but  otherwise  generally  with  the  second  e.     This  book  gives  a 
graphic  description  of  the  Paharis,  who  still  revere  Cleveland  as  their  national 
hero,  under  the  name  of  "Chilmili." 


ig6  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

presents  to  the  women.  To  the  chiefs  he  gave  medals — 
as  is  done  now  among  the  Canadian  Indians  —  thus 
recognising  and  emphasizing  their  authority.  Having 
gained  their  confidence  he  had  Sepoys'  clothes  made  for 
a  few  of  the  men,  and  providing  them  with  firelocks,  had 
them  drilled.  Immediately  a  passion  for  drill  spread 
through  the  hills,  and  each  of  the  men  first  trained  had 
his  own  squad,  who  came  and  entreated  clothes  and 
muskets  as  soon  as  they  were  efficient.  In  less  than  two 
years  a  battalion  a  thousand  strong  had  been  raised,  for 
whom  a  camp  was  established  three  miles  from  Bha- 
galpur,  where  they  could  reside  with  their  families,  and 
the  territory  which  had  hitherto  lain  waste  was  made 
available  for  settlement.  Cleveland's  work  was  only 
partially  carried  on  after  his  departure.  When  Bishop 
Heber  visited  Bhagalpur,  he  found  that  the  Paharis, 
though  friendly  to  Europeans,  had  renewed  their  old 
feuds  with  the  lowlanders,  who  had  been  allowed  to  en- 
croach on  their  territory.  Cleveland's  plans  for  introduc- 
ing simple  industries  among  his  people,  and  supplying 
them  with  seeds  and  implements  of  husbandry,  had  been 
dropped,  and  the  pensions  intended  for  the  Hill  chiefs 
had  been  embezzled  by  those  through  whose  hands  they 
passed.  Even  the  school  which  he  established  for  his 
Pahari  Sepoys  and  their  sons  had  been  given  up,  until 
the  Marquis  of  Hastings  revived  it.  This  Governor- 
General  also  reformed  the  organisation  of  the  battalion, 
which  had  become  "  a  mere  rabble,  addicted  to  all  sorts 
of  vice  and  disorder,"  and  reduced  its  numbers,  with  a 
view  to  increasing  its  efficiency.  The  native  command- 
ant, whom  the  Bishop  met,  was  one  of  Cleveland's  sur- 
viving pupils,  and  had  been  most  useful  in  getting  the 
school  together  again  after  its  suspension.  Lord  Hastings 
took  a  great  interest  in  the  tribe,  and  under  his  rule  their 
pensions  were  restored  to  the  chiefs,  and  the  rights  of 
the  Paharis  to  their  land  upheld  as  against  the  low- 


SERIES   III. — LETTER   III.  IQ7 

land  zamindars.  The  Bishop  approved  highly  of  these 
efforts,  and  hoped  to  further  them  by  establishing  what 
would  now  be  called  an  industrial  mission,  teaching  the 
Hill  people  weaving,  pottery,  and  agriculture  as  well  as 
Christianity. 

MR  PASLEY  was  the  brother  of  a  Dr  Robert  Pasley, 
at  Madras,  with  whom  Hastings  had  "  a  friendship  of 
twenty  years,"  to  which  the  familiar  letters  from  him  in 
the  Correspondence  testify.  When  Hastings  was  trans- 
ferred to  Bengal,  Dr  Pasley  writes  that  he  expects  him 
to  be  able  to  retire  with  a  fortune  in  about  three  years' 
time.  Hastings,  writing  to  Wheler  that  he  has  a  regard 
for  the  younger  Pasley  and  compassion  for  his  misfor- 
tunes, begs  him  to  try  and  employ  (on  the  Company's 
business)  a  ship  in  which  he  has  embarked  his  whole 
fortune  and  all  his  hopes. 

CALCUTTA.     i$th  January,  1784. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — Mr  Doveton  arrived  last  Night, 
and  brought  me  Letters  from  Mrs  Motte,  C.  (Captain) 
Cowper,  and  Mr  Phipps.  These,  and  particularly  the 
first,  ought  to  have  satisfyed  me ;  but  they  renewed  the 
Painfulness  of  my  Situation,  and  my  Fears  for  your 
Health,  for  I  well  knew  the  Acuteness  of  your  Feelings, 
and  the  Inability  of  your  Frame  to  support  them.  I 
shall  now  wait  with  the  most  anxious  Impatience  for  the 
Return  of  the  Pilot,  who  Doveton  tells  me,  may  be  back 
in  16  or  17  Days.  Every  Day  exceeding  that  Period  I 
shall  place  to  a  bad  Account,  and  expect  to  hear  when  he 
arrives  that  he  was  detained  to  bring  a  more  favourable 
Report  than  could  have  been  written  to  me  by  an  earlier 
Dispatch. 

I  have  begun  to  set  my  House  in  Order,  and  intend  to 


198  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

give  every  Thing  to  the  principal  Charge  of  Francis.1 — 
I  have  ordered  an  Advertisement  to  be  made  for  the  Sale 
of  Allipoor  and  Rishera,  and  shall  clear  myself  as  speedily 
as  I  can  of  other  Incumbrances. — I  shall  go  to  Allipoor 
to  morrow  (friday)  and  pass  the  Remainder  of  the  Week 
there,  because  it  will  be  agreeable  to  Lady  D'oyly. 
When  She  leaves  me,  I  believe  I  shall  quit  it  for  ever. — 
I  wait  only  for  Mr  Wheler's  Determination  to  be  certain 
whether  I  shall  leave  Calcutta.  I  think  I  shall,  and  if  I 
do,  I  shall  instantly  make  Preparations  for  it.  I  shall 
probably  set  off  about  the  isth  of  February,  and  travel 
Post  to  Patna.  I  did  hope  to  be  able  to  let  you  know  in 
this  what  was  finally  concluded ;  but  I  cannot,  and  my 
Letter  will  want  an  ostensible  Object.  I  have  a  melan- 
choly Pleasure  in  writing  to  you,  and  that  is  my  real 
Motive. — I  am  well,  and  that  I  know  will  yield  you  some 
pleasure,  tho'  it  is  so  late  since  I  gave  you  the  same 
Information. 

Remember  me  affectionately  to  your  amiable  Friend. 
I  place  my  first  Reliance  on  her,  but  you  cannot  receive 
even  from  her  that  assiduous  and  unremitted  Care  which 
I  should  take  of  you,  were  I  your  Companion. — I  scarce 
hope  for  poor  Clevland's  Recovery,  and  that  is  an  addi- 
tional Cause  of  Alarm,  independent  of  my  Concern 
for  him. 

I  shall  write  again  to  you  by  a  Portugueze  Ship,  and 
by  Mr  Pasley,  who  goes  in  her.  O  God  bless  and  sup- 
port my  sweet  Marian !  Yours  ever  ever  more  than 
Words  can  describe,  W.  H. 

1  Dr  Clement  Francis. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER    IV.  IQQ 

LETTER    IV. 

In  spite  of  Hastings'  anxiety  to  sell  ALLIPOOR,  the  whole 
property  was  still  on  his  hands  when  he  left  India  (see 
Letter  XXVII.),  having  been  bought  in  at  the  auction, 
whereas  the  other  estate,  Rishera,  sold  for  double  what 
he  had  given  for  it.  Major  Palmer's  son  John,  Hastings' 
Indian  agent,  was  living  there  in  1802.  After  Hastings 
had  sailed,  Mr  William  Jackson  the  lawyer1  bought  the 
Old  House  for  27,500  sicca  rupees,  Thompson  and  Turner 
combined  to  buy  the  New  House  for  27,000,  and  Mr 
Hanycombe  an  attorney  bought  the  paddock  for  7500, 
leaving  "  near  70  beggahs  of  land  between  the  paddock 
and  Belvidere."  There  were,  however,  considerable 
difficulties,  as  we  learn  from  Thompson's  letters,  in 
effecting  the  change  of  owners.  The  plan  —  or  more 
probably  the  title-deeds — had  been  inadvertently  packed 
with  those  Hastings  had  taken  home  with  him,  so  that 
the  sale  could  not  be  completed,  and  when  this  difficulty 
was  overcome,  it  appeared  that  by  the  lex  loci  Mrs 
Hastings'  consent  was  necessary  to  the  transfer,  which 
caused  a  further  delay.  The  seventy  bigahs  of  land  not 
included  in  the  sale  remained  in  Hastings'  possession, 
and  were  given  by  him  to  his  stepson  Julius  Imhoff  when 
the  latter  settled  in  India.  Julius  built  a  house  there,2 
apparently  as  a  speculation,  "  for  the  use  of  the  Court 
of  Appeal,"  but  it  was  let  or  sold  by  his  executors  in 
1803  to  Charles  D'Oyly,  who  mentions  his  pleasure  in 
the  grounds  which  Hastings  had  laid  out.  The  Belvidere 
estate — which  Dr  Busteed  identifies  with  the  Old  House3 

1  In  1801,  as  Registrar  and  Notary  Public,  he  certifies  the  copy  of  Julius 
Imhoff's  will. 

2  He  describes  it  in  his  will  as  "my  House  and  Grounds  situated  behind 
that  House  or  Mansion  commonly  known  by  the  name  of  Belvidere  House, 
and  at  present  occupied  by  William  Augustus  Brooke"  (for  whom  see  infra, 
p.  269). 

3  Mrs  Fay  certainly  mentions  Belvidere  as  the  New  House,  but  Dr  Busteed 
considers  this  as  a  mistake  due  to  her  ignorance  of  the  locality. 


200  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

— was  about  to  be  cut  up  into  building  lots  in  1798.  The 
New  House,  identified  as  the  present  Hastings  House, 
Alipur,  was  built  by  Hastings  himself  about  1776,  and 
the  walls  covered,  inside  and  out,  with  the  true  Madras 
chunam,  the  secret  of  the  manufacture  of  which  has  now 
been  lost.  Dr  Busteed  quotes  a  captious  description 
from  the  journal  of  Francis's  brother-in-law  and  secretary, 
Macrabie  :  "  'Tis  a  pretty  toy  but  very  small  tho'  airy 
and  lofty.  These  milk-white  buildings  with  smooth  shiny 
surface  utterly  blind  one."  Mrs  Fay's  impression  of  it 
has  already  been  quoted.1  The  faithful  Thompson  and 
Turner  regarded  the  house,  as  was  only  natural,  with  a 
more  appreciative  eye.  Thompson  calls  it  "  that  beauti- 
ful Model  of  Architecture  which  introduced  into  Bengal 
an  Improvement  till  then  unknown,  and  stands  an 
elegant,  original  and  lasting  Monument  of  public  Spirit, 
in  which  tho'  its  Author  suffers  a  heavy  Loss  subsequent 
Immitators  will  have  made  their  Fortune  by."  Turner, 
in  mentioning  in  1794  that  Hastings'  portrait  by  Davis 
(Devis) 2  has  passed  into  his  hands,  says  that  he  has 
decided  to  hang  it  in  the  hall  upstairs,  which  he  can  do 
without  breaking  the  walls,  "  which  I  think  my  Dear  Sir 
even  at  this  Distance,  you  would  not  forgive.  I  have 
the  satisfaction  to  assure  you  that  they  have  been  paid 
religious  Veneration,  and  are  in  all  respects  as  perfect 
as  the  Day  you  left  India,  and  still  by  far  the  best 
Specimens  existing  in  Bengal  of  the  Madras  Chunam." 
With  the  house  the  care  of  the  horses,  birds,  and  other 
pets  passed  into  their  hands,  as  has  been  mentioned,  but 
they  were  obliged  to  make  a  new  garden,  as  Hastings' 
collection  of  exotics,  which  ought  to  have  been  purchased 
for  the  Company,  as  the  nucleus  of  a  botanical  garden, 
was  allowed,  in  McPherson's  first  spasm  of  economy,  to 
be  dispersed. 

DAVID  ANDERSON  was  one  of  Hastings'  most  trusted 
subordinates.      Early  in    1773    he   was   sent    home,   ap- 

1  Supra,  p.  30.  2  See  infra,  p.  420. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   IV.  2OI 

parently  with  despatches,  and  carried  presents  of  "  otta  " 
from  Hastings  to  the  Woodmans,  and  from  Dr  Hancock 
to  his  wife.  Hancock  warns  his  "  dear  Phila  "  that  she 
must  make  allowances  for  Anderson's  humour  in  em- 
bellishing his  stories  and  characters,  but  though  a  little 
odd  in  manner,  he  is  a  very  worthy  young  man.  He 
was  sent  to  Cuttack  in  1778  to  take  up  the  negociations 
with  Mudaji  which  were  broken  off  by  Elliot's  death,  and 
though  the  Governor-General's  expectations  were  disap- 
pointed, he  recognised  that  this  was  due  to  the  delay  that 
had  occurred,  and  the  changed  political  conditions,  not  to 
any  fault  of  Anderson's.  In  1780,  Anderson,  who  had  ac- 
companied him  to  Benares,  was  despatched  to  Sindhia's 
camp,  when  Colonel  Muir  had  succeeded  in  making  a 
treaty  with  him,  to  watch  over  the  negociations  with  the 
Maratha  state,  in  which  Sindhia  was  to  act  as  mediator. 
The  result  was  the  Treaty  of  Salbai,  gained,  as  Hastings 
writes,  "  by  the  peculiar  talents  and  wariness  of  Mr  David 
Anderson."1  After  the  journey  to  the  upper  provinces 
projected  in  this  letter,  Anderson  accompanied  his  patron 
home  in  the  Berrington,  and  becomes  a  regular  corres- 
pondent until  Hastings'  death.  He  married  soon  after 
his  return,  and  settled  on  his  estate  of  St  Germains,  near 
Edinburgh.  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  visited  him  there,  and 
he  and  his  family  visited  them  at  Daylesford,  and  they 
exchanged  local  and  family  news,  views  on  politics,  and 
farming  notes.  Gleig  says,2  "Among  all  his  friends,  and 
he  had  many,  none  were  more  devoted  to  Mr  Hastings 
than  David  Anderson ;  among  all  whom  he  loved,  and 
his  benevolence  was  as  extensive  as  it  was  sincere,  Mr 
Hastings,  I  am  inclined  to  say,  loved  David  Anderson  the 
most."  In  the  case  of  a  man  who  had  so  many  friends, 
and  loved  them  all  so  well,  it  is  difficult  to  discriminate 
as  far  as  this,  but  it  can  unhesitatingly  be  said  that 
Hastings'  intercourse  with  David  Anderson  was  on  more 
equal  terms  than  with  any  one  else,  except  perhaps 
1  Gleig,  in.  84.  2  Ibid->  3I3> 


2O2  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Colonel  Toone.  These  two  men — almost  alone  of  his 
friends — needed  nothing  and  asked  nothing  from  him 
but  friendship.  It  is  curious  to  notice  that  Anderson's 
Indian  interests  seem  to  have  faded  from  him  com- 
pletely. He  writes  of  Indian  affairs  with  the  diffidence 
of  one  who  is  altogether  out  of  touch  with  them,  and 
this  only  when  some  reference  in  Hastings'  letters  needs 
a  reply. 

SWINEY  (or  Sweeny)  TOONE,  an  Irishman,  was  one  of 
Hastings'  aides-de-camp  in  the  early  days  of  his  governor- 
ship of  Bengal.  "  Since  my  first  appointment  to  the 
chief  office  of  this  Government  in  1772,"  says  Hastings,1 
"  Major  Toone  has  constantly  held  some  command  im- 
mediately attached  to  my  person  except  the  interval 
which  passed  of  his  absence  in  England.  The  troop  of 
horse  appointed  for  my  body  guard  in  1773  was  raised, 
formed  and  disciplined  by  him,  but  did  not  immediately 
perform  the  duty  assigned  to  it  by  its  institution,  being 
first  employed  on  service  against  the  Senneasses  (Sanyasis, 
bands  of  marauding  fanatics),  .  .  .  and  immediately 
after  in  the  campaign  against  the  Rohillas  under  Colonel 
Champion.  In  both  services  it  was  eminently  useful." 
Toone  was  invalided  home  about  1775,  and  as  already 
explained,2  was  obliged  to  resign  the  service.  While  in 
England,  however,  he  was  employed  by  the  Court  of 
Directors  "  on  an  important  trust,"  the  nature  of  which 
does  not  appear,  and  he  discharged  it  with  so  much 
credit  that  he  was  allowed  to  return  to  India  without 
prejudice  to  his  rank.  His  reason  for  obtaining  leave  to 
return,  in  1782,  was  his  desire  to  be  with  Hastings,  for 
his  health  was  by  no  means  restored.  On  this  journey 
to  the  upper  provinces  he  commanded  the  military  escort, 
and  Hastings  mentions  in  his  honour  that  not  a  single 
complaint  was  uttered  as  to  the  conduct  of  the  troop  by 
the  Nawab- Vizier's  forces,  with  which  it  was  often  inter- 
mixed on  the  march  and  in  camp,  by  the  inhabitants  of 

1  State  Papers.  2  See  siipra,  p.  177. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER    IV.  203 

Lucknow,  or  by  the  servants  of  the  palace  in  that  city 
where  it  was  quartered,  nor  was  a  single  bill  presented  to 
the  Company  for  damage  done.  Toone  retired  and  came 
home  with  Hastings  in  1785,  receiving  his  commission  as 
Lieutenant  -  Colonel  on  account  of  his  services.  He 
married  a  most  excellent  wife,  and  had  a  large  family, 
two  of  the  sons,  Francis  Hastings  and  James  Hastings, 
being  godsons  to  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  respectively.  In 
1798  he  offered  himself  as  a  candidate  for  the  Court  of 
Directors,  and  was  successful,  though,  as  he  says,  "  All 
the  Beauty  of  Portland  Place  are  canvassing  against  me 
— Hard  upon  a  Man,  who  loves  the  Sex  so  well."  From 
this  time  forward  he  took  upon  himself  the  duty  of  repre- 
senting Hastings  at  the  India  House,  managing  the  deli- 
cate matters  connected  with  the  renewal  of  his  annuity, 
and  other  questions  on  which  he  found  it  necessary  to  ap- 
proach the  Court,  with  a  fidelity,  tact,  and  good  humour 
almost  unexampled.  There  are  innumerable  letters 
scrawled  in  his  peculiarly  illegible  hand  to  his  "  ever 
dear  and  honoured  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings,"  dated  from 
the  India  House,  from  his  town  residence  in  Berners 
Street  or  Mortimer  Street  (this  seems  to  have  been  a 
favourite  neighbourhood  for  old  Indians),  from  Margate 
or  Worthing,  from  Epsom,  or  from  the  estate  bearing  the 
unpropitious  name  of  Mount  Misery  which  he  purchased 
near  Keston  in  Kent.  However  hurried  he  may  be,  he 
never  fails  to  end  with  messages  of  the  deepest  respect 
from  his  wife  and  daughters  as  well  as  himself.  He  was 
much  troubled  by  his  own  ill  health  and  that  of  his 
children,  but  it  is  never  made  an  excuse  for  avoiding 
anything  he  had  been  asked  to  do,  and  his  devotion  was 
recognised  and  appreciated.  "  I  never  doubted  of  my 
reception  if  it  had  been  my  good  Fortune  to  go  to  Dayles- 
ford  House,"  he  writes,  after  missing  a  visit  there.  "  I 
should  be  worse  than  an  Infidel  to  doubt  it,  after  the 
experience  of  the  third  part  of  the  Century."  The  last 
letter  that  Hastings  dictated  was  to  him,  asking  him 


204  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

to  approach  the  Court  of  Directors  on  the  subject  of 
the  continuance  to  Mrs  Hastings  of  the  annuity  granted 
to  her  husband. 

RICHARD  JOHNSON  seems  to  have  been  one  of  the 
people  who  must  have  a  finger  in  every  pie.  Accord- 
ing to  the  *  Bengal  Gazette,'  he  negociated  Mrs  Hastings' 
divorce  from  her  first  husband ;  he  appears  in  the  Corres- 
pondence in  the  summer  of  1780,  intent  on  reconciling 
Hastings  and  Francis,  only  to  be  stigmatized  by  Sir 
John  Day  as  "  a  beardless  Machiavel,"  serving  nothing 
but  his  own  interests ;  and  when  he  was  sent  as 
Middleton's  assistant  to  Lucknow,  the  '  Bengal  Gazette ' 
asserts  that  he  wormed  himself  into  the  knowledge  of 
official  secrets.  When  Middleton  quitted  his  post  tem- 
porarily to  escort  his  wife  to  Bengal,  Johnson,  "  in 
actual  possession  of  the  powers  of  the  residency,"  was 
in  his  glory.  "  Johnson  abused  his  trust,  or  was  charged 
with  it,"  writes  Hastings,1  "  and  kept  the  Board  and 
myself  in  total  ignorance  of  his  acts,  though  unauthor- 
ised, and  of  the  state  of  the  country,  which  was  in 
universal  revolt.  For  this  he  was  recalled."  After  his 
appointment  to  Hyderabad,  he  writes  to  Hastings  that 
he  expects  the  arrival  of  an  order  from  the  Court  of 
Directors  for  his  being  tried  again  on  the  charges  on 
which  he  and  Middleton  had  already  been  arraigned. 
As  the  affair  has  remained  in  suspense  for  eighteen 
months,  he  begs  that  if  the  letter  arrives,  it  may  be 
held  over  until  the  negociations  with  the  Nizam,  of 
which  he  is  in  charge,  are  completed.  It  was  in  con- 
sequence of  these  charges,  brought  against  him  by  the 
Oudh  minister  Haidar  Beg  Khan  and  Major  Palmer,  who 
was  sent  to  enquire  into  the  state  of  affairs  at  Lucknow — 
and  not,  as  Dr  Busteed  thinks,  of  any  subsequent  pecca- 
dilloes at  Hyderabad — that  he  was  obliged  to  resign  his 
post.  For  a  time  he  was  supernumerary  member  of  the 
Board  of  Revenue,  but  returned  to  England  in  1789.  He 
became  a  partner  in  the  firm  of  Edwards,  Smith,  Templer, 

1  Gleig,  III.  119. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER   IV.  205 

Middleton,  Johnson  and  Wedgwood,  who  acted  as  bankers 
for  both  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings.  There  are  a  number  of 
letters  to  him  from  them  dealing  with  money  matters. 
He  advanced  the  money  for  the  purchase  of  Charles 
ImhofFs  commission  as  captain,  and  in  1800  suddenly 
requested  that  it  should  be  repaid,  at  a  time  when 
Hastings  was  in  such  difficulties  as  to  write,  "  I  see 
my  own  ruin  staring  me  in  the  face."  He  offered  to 
mortgage  Daylesford  to  raise  the  money,  but  the  matter 
seems  to  have  been  arranged  by  transferring  some  of 
Mrs  Hastings'  securities,  so  that  she  became  the  owner 
of  the  mortgage.  But  Johnson's  demand  had  been 
caused  by  pecuniary  difficulties  of  his  own,  and  in 
1807  we  hear  that  he  is  returning  to  India.  In  this 
year,  as  Sir  C.  Lawson1  points  out,  his  name  dis- 
appears from  the  firm.  Before  he  could  sail,  he  died 
at  Brighton,  but  some  of  his  transactions  must  have 
continued  to  operate  to  the  prejudice  of  his  partners. 
In  1816  there  is  a  pathetic  letter  from  Mr  Templer, 
now  head  of  the  firm,  which  is  about  to  close  its  doors. 
In  consequence  of  Mr  Johnson's  conduct,  he  himself, 
after  thirty-one  years  at  home,  must  return  to  India2  at 
sixty-one  years  of  age,  and  he  begs  that  Mr  and  Mrs 
Hastings  will  transfer  their  accounts  to  Messrs  Coutts. 
This  they  did. 

RICHARD  JOSEPH  SULIVAN'S  name  appears  in  the 
Correspondence  first  in  1777,  when  McPherson,  then 
at  home,  recommends  him  to  Hastings.  In  1781  he 
was  appointed  by  the  Governor  -  General  and  Council 
their  Resident  at  Fort  St  George,  for  the  purpose  of 
keeping  them  in  touch  with  the  members  of  the  Madras 
Committee.3  At  the  beginning  of  1783  he  is  found  in 
possession  of  special  powers  conferred  on  him  for  the 
purpose  of  negociating  with  the  hapless  Mohammed  Ali, 

1  '  The  Private  Life  of  Warren  Hastings.' 

2  He  was  one  of  the  commissioners  for  regulating  the  price  of  grain  in 
October,  1783.     Gleig,  III.  132. 

3  State  Papers. 


206  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Nawab  of  Arcot — otherwise  known  as  the  Nabob  of  the 
Carnatic  and  the  Nabob  Wallah  Jaw  or  Wallaja — and  is 
constituted  minister  and  representative  of  the  Governor- 
General  and  Council  at  his  durbar.  Hastings  had  recom- 
mended him  to  Lord  Macartney  in  1781  as  "  deeply  and 
minutely  informed  in  the  Nabob's  affairs,  of  pleasing 
manner,  and  if  you  shall  think  fit  to  make  use  of  his 
services,  possessed  of  honourable  and  faithful  principles," 
but  an  angel  from  heaven  could  not  have  satisfied  Lord 
Macartney  if  it  had  been  deputed  to  represent  the  Bengal 
Government.  Before  his  arrival,  a  treaty  had  been  con- 
cluded by  which  the  Nawab  handed  over  the  larger  part 
of  the  revenues  of  the  Carnatic  for  the  expenses  of  the 
war,  on  condition  that  his  sovereign  rights  were  guaran- 
teed. Lord  Macartney  insisted  that  the  whole  of  the 
revenues  should  be  surrendered  unconditionally  to  the 
Madras  Government,  without  regard  to  the  stipulations 
of  the  treaty.  Richard  Sulivan,  apparently  trying  to 
make  the  best  of  a  bad  business  for  his  client,  persuaded 
him  to  agree,  with  the  natural  result  of  a  long  course 
of  irritation  on  the  Nawab's  part,  and  overbearing  tyranny 
on  that  of  Lord  Macartney.  In  March,  1783,  Hastings, 
writing  to  Laurence  Sulivan,  mentions  that  Richard 
Sulivan 1 —  there  seems  to  have  been  no  relationship 
between  the  two  men — had  recently  been  removed  from 
his  appointment,  though  no  fault  was  alleged  against 
him.  As  a  Resident  was  needed  at  Hyderabad,  Hastings 
proposed  him  for  the  post,  and  Sir  Eyre  Coote,  then  on 
his  last  visit  to  Calcutta,  heartily  agreed.  The  appoint- 
ment was  specially  near  Hastings'  heart  because  he  hoped 
by  its  means  to  bring  about  a  reconciliation  between 
the  two  Nawabs — the  Nizam  and  Wallah  Jah — and  he 
had  confided  this  hope  to  McPherson.  To  his  deep 
disappointment,  McPherson  and  Stables — who  had  re- 
fused to  express  an  opinion  until  he  had  consulted 
McPherson  —  opposed  the  appointment,  on  the  ground 
1  Gleig,  in.  54. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   IV.  207 

of  Sulivan's  connection  with  the  Nawab  of  Arcot,  and 
it  fell  through.  "  David  Anderson  always  excepted,  I 
do  not  know  (Sulivan's)  equal,"  Hastings  had  written, 
and  it  must  have  tried  him  sorely  to  see  the  vacant 
post  go  to  Richard  Johnson.  Their  friendship  was  not 
interrupted,  and  in  1801  Sulivan  was  one  of  those  who 
nominated  Hastings  for  the  membership  of  the  Royal 
Society. 

CALCUTTA.     21  st  January,  1784. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  have  written  3  Letters  to 
you  by  Mrs  Sands  in  the  Hope  of  her  overtaking  you 
at  the  Cape.  I  scarce  wish  you  to  receive  them,  for 
they  were  written  under  the  Influence  of  Sorrow,  Dis- 
content and  Despondency,  and  something  like  the 
Consciousness  of  infinite  and  incomparable  Folly  in  the 
Recollection  of  the  abundant  Pains  which  I  had  been 
taking  to  effect  my  own  Wretchedness. — May  the  Event 
prove  it  the  Reverse !  The  Resolution  and  its  Execution 
were  very  sudden,  and  I  look  back  for  the  Grounds  of 
both,  and  scarce  can  trace  them ;  —  none  that  satisfy 
me :  I  only  recollect  that  in  my  Enthusiasm  to  sacrifice 
every  Consideration  that  regarded  myself  to  the  Preser- 
vation of  your  Health,  I  thought  only  of  the  Sacrifice, 
nor  enquired  of  myself  till  it  was  too  late  whether  it 
might  not  have  been  attained  by  easier  Means  and 
nearer  our  Reach,  or  whether  those  which  were  chosen 
were  not  as  likely  to  encrease  as  to  remedy  the  Evil. 

But  I  have  already  torn  one  Sheet  because  I  had 
half  filled  it  with  gloomy  Complaints.  —  I  will  not 
afflict  you  with  more,  and  it  is  unmanly. 

The  Events  of  my  Life  since  our  Separation  have 
been  few  and  uninteresting.  I  left  you  early  on  the 
Morning  of  the  loth  and  passed  a  miserable  Day  with 


208  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

an  aching  Heart  and  Head.  I  saw  the  Atlas  till  half 
an  Hour  past  9,  and  then  lost  Sight  of  her  for  ever. 
I  arrived  at  Calcutta  in  the  Afternoon  of  the  I2th, 
having  made  my  last  Stage  in  the  Feelcherra.  I  have 
since  had  my  Mind  so  constantly  occupied  that  it  has 
had  little  Time  for  Reflexion,  and  I  have  avoided  sleep- 
ing in  the  Afternoons,  so  that,  thank  God,  I  pass  my 
Nights  in  Quiet  through  Weariness.  I  passed  the  three 
last  Days  of  the  Week  at  Allipoor,  and  shall  continue 
to  go  there  for  the  Entertainment  of  my  present  Guests, 
as  long  as  they  stay  with  me,  on  Saturdays  and  Sundays. 
When  they  leave  me,  I  bid  Adieu  to  Allipoor  for  ever, 
and  I  have  actually  advertised  the  Sale  of  it  in  Three 
Lots,  the  Old  House  and  Garden  forming  One,  the  new 
House  and  Outhouses  the  Second,  and  the  Paddock  the 
third.  Other  Schemes  of  Retrenchment  and  Economy 
I  am  forming,  and  they  afford  me  a  Pleasure  in  the 
Prospect  which  is  connected  with  them. 

On  the  1/j.th  Mr  Doveton  returned,  and  brought  me 
Letters  from  Mrs  Motte,  Captain  Cowper,  and  Mr 
Phipps.  He  had  left  you  but  fifteen  Hours  later  than 
I  had;  yet  his  Report  of  you,  and  the  Letters,  filled 
me  with  alarming  Apprehensions.  Poor  Clevland !  I 
fear  his  Recovery  near  impossible ;  and  this  is  an 
additional  Source  of  my  Fears  on  your  Account. — I 
do  not  expect  the  Return  of  the  Pilot  till  the  first 
Week  in  February  at  the  soonest,  and  shall  reckon  the 
Delay  of  every  Day  from  the  first  as  having  proceeded 
from  a  Necessity  of  detaining  him  to  afford  me  better 
Tidings  than  could  have  been  written  earlier  by  him. 
Yet  I  shall  then  hope  to  see  your  own  Handwriting, 
and  O  God  grant  it  may  give  me  the  Comfort  of  hearing 


SERIES    III. — LETTER    IV.  20Q 

that  you  were  well,  your  Health  unimpaired,  and  your 
Mind  composed ! — Let  me  but  have  Reason  to  believe 
that  you  will  pass  the  Voyage  exempt  from  Sickness, 
and  I  will  forgive  myself  for  having  assented  to  part 
with  you. — Assented !  It  was  my  own  Act,  and  mine 
alone,  and  I  felt  a  Pride  in  urging  it,  because  I  owed 
to  you  every  Proof  that  I  could  give  of  my  Affection 
and  disinterested  Regard  for  your  Safety  and  Happiness, 
and  what  greater  could  I  give,  if  these  Objects  were 
promoted  by  it  ? 

I  am  in  hourly  Expectation  of  the  Determination 
of  the  Board  on  a  Point  of  very  great  Consequence 
to  my  Credit  in  the  Close  of  my  public  Service. 
I  have  made  an  Offer  of  going  to  Lucnow  for  the 
Purpose  of  making  an  Arrangement  of  our  Concerns 
in  that  Government,  the  State  of  which  you  knew  when 
you  were  with  me.  If  I  go,  I  shall  have  a  World  of  diffi- 
culties to  encounter,  and  Hazard  to  my  Reputation,  but  I 
know  that  if  any  Thing  can  retrieve  the  Affairs  of  that 
Country,  my  Presence  will  ( — I  can  say  this  to  you,  and 
you  will  not  think  it  Presumption — )  and  my  Health,  to 
which  I  must  give  much  Attention,  is  less  likely  to  suffer 
by  a  Life  of  Bustle  and  Activity  than  by  a  State  of  Quiet 
at  Home.  If  I  go,  Mr  Anderson  will  accompany  me  as 
my  Assistant,  Sands  as  the  Manager  of  my  private  Affairs, 
and  Major  Toone  for  eventual  Employment  in  his  own 
Line.  I  shall  set  out  about  the  Middle  of  next  Month, 
and  go  by  the  Post  Bearers  as  far  as  Patna,  and  per- 
haps to  Benaris. — Possibly  I  may  close  this  by  telling 
you  that  I  do  not  go  at  all.  I  have  done  all  that  I 
could  to  gain  this  Point,  but  shall  be  glad  in  my 
Heart  to  be  defeated  in  it ;  for  I  wish  it  only  on 


2IO  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

public  Grounds,  every  Consideration  of  private  Interest 
strongly  opposing  it. 

Richard  Johnson  is  appointed  our  public  Minister  at 
Hyderabad,  the  Station  originally  destined  for  Richard 
Sulivan. 

I  daily  expect  Letters  overland  written  after  the  Receipt 
of  mine  by  the  Surprize  Packet  in  which  I  declared  my 
Resolution  of  resigning  my  Office,  and  desired  that  my 
Successor  might  be  nominated.  What  may.be  the  Event 
of  this  Declaration  I  cannot  foresee ;  but  whatever  it  be, 
my  Resolution  is  fixed  and  unalterable,  and  it  will  be  so 
concluded  when  it  is  known  that  you  are  gone  before  me. 
I  have  fulfilled  every  Obligation  which  I  owed  to  the 
Service,  and  done  more  than  almost  any  other  Man 
against  such  Inducements  as  I  have  had  to  restrain  me 
would  have  done. — But,  my  Marian,  do  not  entertain 
Hopes  of  Improvement  in  our  Fortune.  If  your  Love  for 
me  is,  as  I  am  sure  it  is,  superior  to  every  other  Wish, 
you  must  be  content  to  receive  your  Husband  again  with- 
out other  Expectations,  poor  in  Cash,  but  rich  in  Credit 
(at  least  he  hopes  so)  and  in  Affection  unexampled.  He 
is  infinitely  more  concerned  about  his  Constitution  than 
his  Wealth,  trusting  to  the  Justice  of  his  Country  for  at 
least  a  Competency,  and  to  the  Good  Sense  of  his  Marian 
for  a  Sufficiency  in  whatever  they  may  have  for  a  Sub- 
sistence. 

Since  I  wrote  the  preceding  Part  of  my  Letter  I  have 
seen  Mr  Wheler,  and  he  has  promised  his  Assent  to  my 
proposed  Visit  to  Lucnovv,  having  declared  the  same  in 
Terms  in  a  written  Minute  to  the  Board ;  so  that  I  now 
consider  it  as  done  past  Recall.  Scott  will  have  the 


SERIES   III. — LETTER    IV.  211 

Copies  of  what  has  passed  in  Council  upon  the  Occasion, 
if  you  wish  to  see  them.  There  is  nothing  in  them  but 
their  Conclusion  in  which  you  can  be  interested. 

I  am  well,  and  ride  pretty  constantly ;  but  the  Swelling 
in  my  Ancle  which  I  thought  had  subsided  returned  while 
I  was  on  the  River,  and  continues.  I  intend  to  give  a 
particular  Attention  to  my  Health,  and  have  no  Doubt 
with  Care  to  escape  any  Attack  of  Sickness  this  Year. — 
I  am  not  apprehensive  of  any  Approach  of  it  till  the 
Month  of  July.  I  ought  to  be  careful,  for  I  shall  not 
have  an  Angel  sent  again  from  Heaven  for  my  Care,  and 
that  Reflexion,  were  I  sick,  would  make  the  Danger  twice 
as  great. 

O  my  Marian,  what  an  Age  is  yet  to  pass  before  I  can 
be  again  blessed  with  you,  and  what  have  I  not  to  dread 
in  so  long  an  Interval  ! !  May  Heaven  support  and 
preserve  you,  and  restore  you  to  me  in  Health  and  in 
Affection  all  that  my  fondest  Hopes  can  require,  and  I 
will  be  contented,  nor  regret  the  many  many  Days  that  I 
have  lost  in  your  Absence ;  and  if  ever  I  part  from  you 
again,  I  shall  deserve  to  lose  you  and  be  wretched  for 
ever.  Let  but  a  few  Months  pass,  and  I  will  begin  to 
count  the  Time  which  shall  yet  remain,  and  please  myself 
with  its  Diminution. 

Continue,  my  sweet  Marian,  to  love  me,  for  in  that 
Hope  and  Belief  alone  I  live.  Again  may  the  God  of 
Heaven  bless  and  support  you ! — Remember  me  affection- 
ately to  your  dear  Mrs  Motte.  Adieu.  Your  ever  ever 
affectionate  W.  HASTINGS. 


212  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 


LETTER   V. 

The  HALSEWELL,  which  carried  this  letter,  was  lost  on 
her  return  voyage  from  England  in  1786. 

MAJOR  DAVY  had  been  Hastings'  Persian  secretary. 
He  was  deputed  in  May,  1782,  to  accompany  Major 
Palmer  to  Lucknow  as  his  confidential  assistant  when  he 
went  to  enquire  into  the  Nawab-Vizier's  unwillingness,  as 
represented  by  Middleton,  to  carry  out  the  Treaty  of 
Chanar.  Should  sickness  or  any  other  accident  prevent 
Palmer  from  reaching  Lucknow,  Davy  was  to  take  his 
place.  He  seems  to  have  resigned  his  appointment 
owing  to  ill-health,  and  died  on  his  voyage  home,  three 
days  before  reaching  St  Helena. 

The  CAPTAIN  PRICE  here  mentioned  is  not  the  same  as 
the  "  Captain  Joe  Price  "  of  Letter  XXVII. 

JOHN  McPHERSON  was  a  fascinating  giant  of  agreeable 
manners,  a  fine  flow  of  conversation,  mediocre  abilities, 
and  no  conscience.  Arriving  in  India  in  1767  as  purser 
of  his  uncle's  ship,  he  made  the  acquaintance  of  the 
Nawab  of  Arcot,  and  was  sent  by  him  to  England  as  his 
agent.  At  home  his  intrigues  led  to  the  unwarrantable 
appointment  of  Sir  John  Lindsay  as  plenipotentiary  re- 
presenting the  Crown,  to  decide  all  questions  of  peace 
and  war  with  the  native  powers.  The  Madras  Com- 
mittee, of  which  Hastings  was  then  a  member,  resisted 
this  encroachment  stoutly,  and  eventually  with  success, 
but  McPherson  received  his  reward  in  the  shape  of  a 
writership  in  the  Company's  service,  on  the  nomination 
of  the  Prime  Minister,  the  Duke  of  Grafton.  Prudently 
concealing  the  reason  for  this  favour,  he  made  himself 
useful  to  Dupre,  the  Governor,  and  was  rewarded  by  the 
appointment  of  Paymaster  to  the  Madras  Forces.1  In 
his  letters  to  Hastings  about  this  time,  he  reveals  himself 
as  what  his  age  called  "  the  man  of  feeling."  He  quotes 

1  Beveridge,  'History.' 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   V.  213 

Rousseau  and  the  Ossianic  poems  of  which  his  cousin 
James  McPherson  was — the  diverse  meanings  now  attri- 
buted to  the  phrase  make  it  allowable  here — "  the  onlie 
begetter,"  and  speaks  of  their  common  friends  under  the 
names  of  the  Gaelic  heroes.  He  writes  with  a  gay  irre- 
sponsibility which  takes  little  heed  of  the  feelings  of 
others,  and  Hastings  pulls  him  up  sharply  on  one  occa- 
sion for  an  expression  used  in  speaking  of  Mrs  Imhoff. 
He  excuses  himself  on  the  ground  that  he  writes  with  an 
open  soul  and  often  a  careless  pen,  and  —  repeats  the 
offence  three  years  later,  when  she  had  for  two  years  been 
married  to  Hastings.  Hastings'  secretary  Belli  was  his 
protege,  and  he  rarely  loses  sight  of  him  and  his  interests. 
"  Remind  me  to  my  little  Belli  if  he  is  alive,"  he  writes. 
"  If  he  is  dead,  Peace  to  his  little  Shade !  "  In  1776 
came  a  sudden  fall.  Lord  Pigot,  the  Governor  of 
Madras,  became  aware  of  his  past  activities  in  the 
Nawab's  interest,  and  dismissed  him  summarily.  He 
returned  to  England  with  the  double  object  of  obtaining 
his  own  reinstatement  and  doing  the  Nawab  further 
service.  "  There  is  a  person  here  who  has  no  despicable 
pen,  his  name  Macpherson,  who  has  succeeded  Macleane 
in  the  agency  of  the  Nabob  of  Arcot,"  writes  Pechell  to 
Hastings  in  1779.  "  This  person  talks  as  being  in  your 
confidence."  Only  a  little  later  comes  a  warning  from 
Mr  Woodman,  whom  McPherson  had  set  down  as  "an 
honest  plain  man,"  that  McPherson  is  damaging  Hastings' 
cause  by  mixing  him  up  with  party  strife,  and  associating 
him  in  the  popular  mind  with  the  controversy  between 
Lords  Howe  and  Keppel.  Having  succeeded  in  getting 
his  dismissal  declared  irregular  and  therefore  void, 
McPherson  left  the  Arcot  business  in  the  hands  of  his 
cousin  James,  usually  called  "  Fingall  McPherson  "  in  the 
Correspondence,  and  returned  to  India  with  added  glory. 
Though  he  had  been  pronounced  guilty  of  "  very  repre- 
hensible conduct,"  and  ordered  to  receive  a  severe  repri- 
mand, he  was  sent  out  to  fill  Barwell's  place  in  the 


214  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Bengal  Council.  The  satisfaction  with  which  Hastings' 
friends  at  home  regarded  the  appointment  has  already 
been  noted,  but  in  spite  of  all  that  had  passed,  they  did 
not  know  McPherson.  Had  Hastings  been  at  the  height 
of  power  and  felicity,  he  would  probably  have  supported 
him  faithfully — at  any  rate  to  outward  view — but  finding 
him  attacked  by  Government  at  home  and  Lord  Mac- 
artney in  India,  the  temptation  to  build  up  a  future  for 
himself  on  the  falling  fortunes  of  his  friend  was  irresist- 
ible.1 "  A  ray  of  inspiration  very  early  flitted  across  my 
imagination  more  than  once,"  writes  Hastings  sorrow- 
fully,2 "  and  showed  me  the  naked  character  of  Mac- 
pherson,  with  his  borrowed  robes  lying  by  him ;  but  I 
either  treated  the  warning  as  an  illusion,  or  it  escaped 
me  while  some  more  pressing  object  called  off  my 
attention ;  or  I  chose  rather  to  be  deceived  than  to  yield 
to  doubtful  suspicion."  Elsewhere  he  speaks  of  him  as 
possessing  "  the  most  imposing  talents,  and  an  elegant 
and  unceasing  flow  of  words,"  3  but  no  knowledge  of 
business.  At  the  time  the  present  letter  was  written, 
McPherson  was  "  absent  from  the  Presidency  for  the 
benefit  of  his  health,"  4  and  his  action  when  he  returned 
is  related  in  sufficient  detail  in  the  succeeding  letters. 
As  no  new  Governor-General  had  been  appointed  when 
Hastings  returned  home,  McPherson  succeeded  to  the 
Chair,  to  the  extreme  dismay  of  all  Hastings'  trusted 
subordinates.  Palmer  writes  of  the  dread  and  distrust 
with  which  he  regards  him,  and  begs  to  be  allowed  to 
resign  rather  than  work  under  him.  The  Nawab- Vizier, 
in  terror,  sent  Colonel  Martine  to  ingratiate  himself  with 
Stables,  and  through  him  with  the  acting  Governor- 
General.  McPherson's  first  thought  was  to  inaugurate 
sweeping  economies,  in  order  to  recommend  himself  to 
the  authorities  at  home.  His  family  consisted  of  a 

1  Gleig,  III.  145.  2  Ibid.,  129.  3  Ibid.,  254. 

4  State  Papers.     He  sailed  in  the  Belmont  for  Ganjam  on  Jan.   loth,  the 
same  day  as  Mrs  Hastings.     Gleig,  III.  142. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  V.  215 

military  secretary,  a  private  secretary,  and  three  aides- 
de-camp,  he  dispensed  with  the  infantry  bodyguard 
altogether,  and  reduced  the  mounted  troop  to  fifty 
men.  Of  his  action  as  Governor  -  General  Thompson 
gives  a  characteristic  picture.  "To  do  this  directly  (i.e., 
to  despatch  one  ship  instead  of  another),  is  an  Act  he 
thinks  too  daring,  too  decisive,  too  important ;  he  has 
therefore  Recourse  to  Intrigue,  and  trusts  that  by 
dexterously  operating  on  the  Hopes  and  Fears  of 
Captain  Kydd  he  shall  effect  his  mighty  Purpose, 
without  committing  himself.  Ex  pede  Herculem — Behold 
the  Ruler  of  the  East ! "  The  allusions  to  his  suavity 
of  manner  are  frequent.  "  Preserving  his  accustomed 
Smile,"  "with  the  benignity  of  a  Saint,"  "  McPherson, 
whose  Tongue  drops  Honey  upon  this  as  upon  every 
other  Occasion,"  "  Your  name  gently  glided  from  the 
tongue  of  the  Highland  snake."  In  June,  1786,  for  some 
occult  reason — perhaps  to  console  him  for  his  approach- 
ing supersession,  perhaps  to  spite  Hastings  —  he  was 
created  a  baronet,  but  in  September,  as  he  was  sitting 
at  table  at  Government  House,  a  note  was  brought  him 
from  Lord  Cornwallis  announcing  his  arrival  to  take 
over  the  supreme  authority.  Dispossessed,  McPherson 
lingered  for  a  while  about  the  scenes  of  his  former  glory, 
hoping  to  maintain  the  reality,  if  not  the  semblance  of 
power,  by  obtaining  an  influence  over  his  supplanter,  but 
here  his  gifts  and  graces  were  wasted.  Lord  Cornwallis 
entertained  the  worst  possible  opinion  of  his  character, 
and  would  have  none  of  him,1  and  he  retired  more  or  less 
gracefully.  Some  time  after  his  return,  we  find  great 
indignation  expressed  by  Hastings'  correspondents  at  the 
announcement  of  his  intention  of  going  back  to  India, 
but  the  threat  was  not  a  serious  one — merely  an  attempt 
to  intimidate  the  home  government  into  giving  him  a 
pension  as  an  inducement  to  remain  in  England.  He  did 

1  See   '  Correspondence  of  Charles,   First  Marquis  Cornwallis,'  edited  by 
C.  Ross. 


2l6  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

not  go  back,  finding  a  more  suitable,  and  doubtless  more 
congenial  field  for  his  talents  in  London  society,  espe- 
cially in  that  section  of  it  which  owned  allegiance  to  the 
First  Gentleman  in  Europe. 

CALCUTTA.     2$rd  January,  1784. 

MY  MARIAN, — I  have  written  three  Letters  to  you  by 
Mrs  Sands,  and  a  fourth  which  I  shall  commit  to  the 
Charge  of  Captain  Peiarce  of  the  Halsewell.  I  shall 
reserve  a  Duplicate  of  the  last  for  Major  Davy,  for  Mr 
Doveton  says  he  thinks  Major  Davy  has  a  better  Chance 
of  overtaking  you  at  the  Cape  than  the  Ships  now  under 
Dispatch.  I  shall  send  this  and  a  Duplicate  of  it  by  the 
Ceres  and  Talbot  which  will  sail  in  Company  with  the 
Halsewell,  and  I  shall  give  them  in  Charge  of  the  two 
Captains,  Price  and  Taylor,  so  that  in  the  Event  of  the 
Arrival  of  any  One  of  the  Three,  you  will  receive  the 
latest  Intelligence  from  me ;  and  for  that  Purpose  only 
I  now  write,  and  shall  communicate  only  such  Points  as 
it  will  be  necessary  that  you  should  know. 

I  left  you  on  the  loth  and  arrived  in  Calcutta  on  the 
I2th.  On  the  I4th  Mr  Doveton  arrived,  and  brought 
me  Mrs  Motte's  Letter,  not  a  very  pleasing  One,  though 
his  Departure  was  too  early  to  admit  of  a  better  Report. 

I  have  advertised  the  Sale  of  Allipoor,  and  am  ridding 
myself  of  other  Incumbrances. 

I  have  made  an  Offer  to  the  Board  of  my  Services  at 
Lucnow,  and  Mr  Wheler  has  agreed  to  it  provided  the 
Vizier  requests  it,  which  he  certainly  will.  What  Mr 
Stables  will  say,  I  know  not ;  perhaps  nothing.  Mr 
McPherson  is,  you  know  at  Ganjam. — I  consider  the 
Measure  as  determined,  and  shall  prepare  to  leave 
Calcutta  about  the  I5th  of  next  Month.  I  shall  go 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  VI.  2I/ 

Post  to  Patna  or  Buxar,  and  the  rest  of  the  Way  with 
a  military  Escort.  My  Stay  at  Lucnow  will  be  uncer- 
tain, and  my  Success  doubtful,  though  every  Body 
expects  great  Things  in  the  Effect  of  it.  I  do  not. 

I  am  perfectly  well,  and  think  I  shall  be  the  better 
for  a  Life  of  Care  and  Activity. 

Lady  D.  (D'Oyly)  is  still  here.  On  her  Departure  I 
shall  bid  Farewell  to  Allipoor,  and  count  the  Days  of 
my  Life  as  lost  to  my  Existence  till  the  blessed  Moment 
that  shall  restore  my  Marian  to  me,  and  never  while  I 
live  shall  she  be  again  separated  from  me.  Adieu  my 
beloved.  Your  ever  ever  affectionate 

W.  HASTINGS. 

I  will  write  to  Mrs  M.  (Motte)  by  Major  Davy. 

LETTER    VI. 

The  importance  attached  by  Hastings  in  these  letters 
to  the  obtaining  of  WHELER'S  assent  to  his  plans  may 
appear  somewhat  surprising  in  view  of  their  perfect 
accord  in  1781.  But  Wheler  was  one  of  the  men  who 
associate  themselves,  as  it  were  automatically,  with  the 
stronger  side.  "  McPherson  and  Stables  have  intimi- 
dated Wheler,  whom  they  hate,  and  he  them  most 
cordially,"  says  Hastings.1  When  the  Governor-General 
tried  to  rouse  him  to  defend  the  Nawab  of  Arcot  against 
Lord  Macartney,  on  the  faith  of  the  treaty  he  had  him- 
self assisted  to  frame,  "  Mr  Wheler's  conduct  made 
me  ashamed  of  him," 2  so  supine  was  his  behaviour. 
Hastings'  first  intention  of  leaving  Bengal  at  the  same 
time  as  his  wife  was  based  on  the  conviction  that  "In 
the  meantime  the  charge  (of  the  government)  though 

1  To  Scott.     Gleig,  III.  121.  2  Gleig,  III.  123. 


2l8  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

temporary,  would  be  as  safely  lodged  in  the  hands  of 
Mr  Wheler  as  my  own ;  for  he  has  talents  for  business, 
and  lacks  only  a  confidence  in  himself,  which  the  next 
in  succession  (McPherson),  wanting  his  talents,  possesses 
most  abundantly.  But  a  short  interval  compelled  me  to 
relinquish  my  purpose."  l  "  Mr  Wheler  is  really  a  man 
of  business,"  he  writes  despairingly;2  "Yet  I  cannot 
convince  him  of  it,  nor  persuade  him  to  trust  to  his 
own  superiority.  He  hates  them,  and  is  implicitly 
guided  by  them,  and  so  he  will  always  be  by  those 
who  command  him,  and  possess,  at  the  same  time,  a 
majority  of  voices."  On  this  point  of  his  proposed 
journey  to  Lucknow  he  says,  "  You  shall  know  Mr 
Wheler's  answer  in  the  close  of  this.  I  have  used 
every  argument  and  incentive  to  gain  his  assent.  I 
have  talked  with  him  myself,  and  thought  that  I  had 
fixed  him  ;  I  have  used  the  mediation  of  a  common 
friend.  I  have  also  employed  appropriate  means  to 
prevail  on  Mr  Stables,  though  with  little  expectation 
of  effect.  In  short,  I  have  laboured  with  as  much 
perseverance,  and  employed  as  many  instruments,  to 
carry  this  point  as  if  I  had  it  at  heart ;  but  in  my 
heart  I  shall  rejoice  if  I  am  defeated,  for  if  I  am 
committed  in  it,  it  will  be  the  most  desperate  service 
I  ever  undertook ;  and  may  ruin  my  reputation  by  its 
failure  of  success ;  and  here  I  leave  it."  3  Notwith- 
standing this  perverse  supineness  of  Wheler's,  their 
intimate  letters  to  one  another  continue  friendly  and 
even  affectionate.  It  is  as  though  McPherson  cast  a 
spell  on  Wheler  which  in  his  public  character  he  was 
powerless  to  resist,  but  which  had  no  effect  on  his 
private  relations. 

SIR  JOHN  HADLEY  D'OYLY  was  a  type  of  the  larger 
number  of  Hastings'  friends,  united  to  him  by  ties  of  the 
closest  intimacy  and  affection,  but  constantly  more  or  less 
in  need  of  advice,  assistance,  or  consolation.  He  was  now 

1  Gleig,  III.  138.  2  Ibid.,  145.  3  Ibid.,  146. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER   VI. 

Resident  at  Murshidabad,  entrusted  with  the  difficult  task 
of  restraining  the  extravagance  and  regulating  the  finances 
of  the  titular  Nawab,  Mubarak-u-Daula.  He  and  his  wife 
returned  to  England  in  the  Hillesborough  about  the  same 
time  as  Hastings,  and  before  settling  down  he  sought 
out  the  creditors  of  his  deceased  father  and  paid  them 
in  full.  His  letters  show  him  as  a  man  of  many  inter- 
ests. He  sat  in  Parliament  for  Ipswich,  he  made  many 
"  improvements  "  on  his  estates,  and  he  owned  a  brewery 
near  Dublin  and  a  slate  quarry  in  another  part  of  Ireland. 
In  recognition  of  his  fidelity  during  the  Trial,  Hastings 
gave  him  a  seal  bearing  the  Persian  inscription — which  is 
often  quoted  in  their  correspondence — "  This  (affliction) 
also  will  pass  away."  1  Sir  John's  profuse  expenditure 
brought  him  into  difficulties,  and  he  retired  to  Ireland 
to  devote  himself  to  the  brewery  in  the  hope  of  improv- 
ing his  position,  but  the  renewal  of  the  war  with  France 
after  the  Peace  of  Amiens,  and  the  disturbed  state  of 
the  country,  disappointed  him  in  this  expectation.  After 
his  wife's  death  he  returned  to  India,  taking  with  him  his 
two  daughters,  and  leaving  his  little  son  John  under  the 
care  of  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings.  The  elder  son,  Charles, 
who  was  Mrs  Hastings'  godson,  had  gone  to  India  in 
1797,  and  married  his  cousin,  Marian  Greer,  in  1802.  On 
arriving  at  Calcutta  in  1804,  Sir  John  found  great  difficulty 
in  obtaining  employment,  since  there  was  a  strong  and 
not  unnatural  prejudice  against  the  return  of  retired 
civilians — who  had  made  one  fortune  and  lost  it — to  take 
the  bread  out  of  the  mouths  of  younger  men.  At  length 
he  became  Collector  of  the  Twenty-four  Pergunnahs,  then 
Postmaster-General — his  salary  increasing  with  the  profits 
of  the  Post-Office,  and  finally  obtained  the  Salt  Agency  of 
Bulwah  and  Chittagong.  Former  occupants  of  this  post 
had  winked  at  the  most  bare-faced  embezzlement  on  the 
part  of  their  native  subordinates,  and  he  found  he  had 

1  From  an  allusion  in  a  letter  of  David  Anderson's,  it  would  appear  that  he 
also  possessed  one. 


22O  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

stirred  up  a  hornets'  nest  when  he  refused  the  offer  of  the 
latter  to  double  the  commission  paid  to  him  if  he  would 
only  leave  matters  in  their  hands.  After  years  of  work 
and  enormous  difficulties,  he  succeeded  in  raising  the 
revenue  of  the  agency  by  170,000  rupees  per  annum. 
Soon  after  announcing  this  triumph,  he  was  seized  with 
a  nervous  complaint,  due,  so  we  learn,  to  his  inordinate 
use  of  the  hooka,  and  even  a  sojourn  in  Mauritius  failed  to 
cure  him.  On  January  8th,  1818,  his  son  Charles  writes 
to  announce  his  death.  The  letter  is  docketed  in  Hastings' 
writing  as  received  on  June  5th,  little  more  than  two 
months  before  his  own  death.  In  the  obituary  notice  of 
Sir  John  which  his  son  quotes  from  a  Calcutta  paper,  the 
fact  that  he  was  "  the  attached  friend  of  Mr  Hastings  "  is 
specially  mentioned.  There  are  many  of  his  letters  in  the 
Correspondence,  some  of  them  unsigned,  and  only  to  be 
recognised  by  his  very  noticeable  writing.  This  curious 
fact  he  explains  on  the  ground  of  the  danger  of  their 
being  intercepted  and  taken  to  France,  where  the  Em- 
peror Napoleon  had  a  habit  of  printing  the  private  papers 
thus  seized — which  led  to  sad  dissensions  in  family  and 
business  life. 

CALCUTTA.     26.  January.  1784. 
(Endorsed  by  Mrs  Hastings,  "  Received  the  2Qth  July.") 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN,  —  I  write  this  by  Mr  Pasley, 
who  is  a  Passenger  on  a  Portugueze  Ship  destined  to 
touch  at  the  Cape,  and  confidently  expects  to  be  there 
before  you  leave  it.  I  have  written  to  you  by  every 
ship,  and  shall  continue  to  write  by  every  Opportunity, 
whether  of  Land  or  Sea  Conveyance.  Of  Course  my 
Letters  will  often  be  short,  and  always  consist  of  Repeti- 
tions, as  my  first  Object  is  to  make  you  acquainted  with 
those  Points  of  Information  in  which  you  are  most 
concerned;  and  I  know  that  every  Packet  that  arrives 


SERIES   III. — LETTER   VI.  221 

without  a  Letter  from  me  to  you  will  be  a  Disappoint- 
ment to  you. 

I  have  told  you  in  all  my  former  Letters  that  Mr 
Wheler  had  assented  to  my  Proposal  of  going  to  Luc- 
now,  and  that  I  regarded  it  as  a  Point  decided.  I  am 
now  making  all  the  necessary  Preparations  for  it.  I 
shall  set  off  about  the  i5th  but  have  not  yet  fixed  the 
Day.  I  shall  travel  Post  to  Patna,  or  to  the  Banks  of 
the  Soan  ;  but  no  further.  The  rest  of  the  Way  I  shall 
go  with  a  military  Escort,  and  of  Course  with  less  Ex- 
pedition. What  will  be  the  Event  of  this  Undertaking 
it  is  impossible  to  foresee.  It  will  principally  depend 
upon  the  next  Orders  from  home.  If  my  Successor  is 
appointed,  and  I  am  rudely  removed,  I  shall  instantly 
leave  Lucnow,  and  return  to  Calcutta,  and  make  the 
best  of  my  Way  from  thence  to  England.  I  am  not 
greatly  afraid  of  what  my  Friends  in  the  Council  may 
do  in  my  Absence,  because  I  think  they  have  not  the 
Courage  to  recall  or  thwart  me,  and  render  themselves 
responsible  for  the  Consequences.  Whenever  I  have 
put  our  Affairs  there  in  a  good  Train,  which  may  be  in 
Two  Months,  or  it  may  require  more  than  Six,  I  purpose 
leaving  Major  Palmer  in  Charge  and  returning.  If  this 
should  happen  in  the  Rains,  my  Wish  will  be  to  repose 
myself  during  the  Remainder  of  that  Season  with  Sir  John 
D'oyly  at  Rangamutty,  for  I  shall  be  fearful  of  the  Air  of 
Calcutta,  and  some  Care  of  my  own  Person  I  owe  to  you. 

I  have  advertised  the  Sale  of  all  my  Houses  and 
Grounds,  Allipoor  in  three  Lots,  the  Old  House,  the  new 
House,  and  the  Paddock.  I  have  parted  with  all  my 
Mares,  except  four  which  have  Colts,  and  shall  make 
other  Retrenchments  in  my  Expenses. 


222  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Except  the  Day  that  I  left  you,  I  have  been  since  free 
from  any  Complaint  of  Sickness.  My  Health  is  good, 
but  too  delicate,  and  requires  much  Attention  and 
Management.  Perhaps  this  Journey  may  mend  it : — 
perhaps  not.  But  be  it  good  or  bad  I  will  live  to  see 
you  in  England,  and  no  Consideration  that  the  Kings  or 
Parliaments  of  the  Earth  can  offer  me  shall  prevail  upon 
me  to  exceed  the  Time  which  I  have  alloted  to  the  Period 
of  my  Service ;  and  how,  my  Marian,  will  you  receive  a 
Healthless  and  Pennyless  Husband  ?  Will  your  Heart 
reproach  him  with  Precipitancy  and  Improvidence,  or 
will  it  lay  both  to  the  Account  of  an  Affection  which 
could  disregard  Wealth  and  every  Blessing  upon  Earth, 
if  they  could  only  be  obtained  by  a  Separation  from  the 
Object  of  it  ? — I  have  already  yielded  too  much,  too 
much  to  the  Opinions  of  others  in  consenting  to,  aye 
and  in  urging  your  Departure ;  too  much  to  the  Public 
which  will  not  thank  me,  nor  know  the  Value  of  the 
Sacrifice,  in  remaining  without  You. 

I  wait  with  great  Anxiety  the  Return  of  the  Pilot. — I 
was  not  pleased  with  Mr  Doveton's  Report  of  you. — 
Always  remember  me  kindly  to  Mrs  Motte. — My  Marian, 
I  love  you  far  more  than  my  Life,  for  that  is  only  valu- 
able as  you  make  it  so,  nor  have  I  one  Gratification 
which  could  tempt  me  to  retain  the  Burthen  of  it,  but 
for  the  Hope  of  being  again  united  to  you. 

May  God  grant  it,  and  bless  and  support  you  ! 

I  am  ever,  my  dearest  and  most  beloved  of  all  Women 
your  most  faithful  and  most  affectionate  Husband, 

WARREN  HASTINGS. 


223 


CHAPTER    II. 

FEBRUARY  AND  MARCH,  1784. 
LETTER   VII. 

THE  PILOT  always  accompanied  ships  until  they  were 
well  out  of  the  river.  Grandpre,  describing  the  Pilot 
Establishment,  mentions  that  it  comprised  twelve  vessels, 
six  of  which  were  brigs,  and  six  sloops  carrying  sixteen 
guns  each  and  capable  of  being  used  as  warships.  For 
a  small  vessel  entering  or  leaving  the  river,  a  pilot's 
assistant  was  considered  sufficient  safeguard,  but  when 
a  large  ship  was  in  question,  a  master-pilot  went  on 
board,  his  brig  preceding  her.  Mrs  Hastings  had  sent 
back  the  pilot-sloop  earlier  than  her  husband  expected, 
that  it  might  bring  Cleveland's  body  for  burial  on  land. 

CLEVELAND  had  been  ordered  a  voyage  to  the  Cape 
in  the  hope  of  re-establishing  his  health,  according  to 
the  '  India  Gazette.'  The  same  newspaper  records  that 
his  poor  hill-people  were  "  absorbed  in  all  the  extrava- 
gance of  sorrow"  on  hearing  of  his  death. 

CHARLES  CHAPMAN  was  another  of  the  young  civil 
servants  who  attached  themselves  to  Hastings  with  an 
affection  that  bordered  on  idolatry.  At  the  beginning 
of  his  service  he  appears  to  have  acted  for  a  time  as 
private  secretary,  for  he  says  some  years  after  this, 
"While  writing  I  seem  to  be  drawn  closer  to  you,  and 
performing  some  of  those  little  services,  which  in  my 
early  youth,  you  accepted  with  so  much  Goodness,  and 


224  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

I  performed  with  so  much  pleasure."  In  1778  Hastings 
employed  him  to  explore  the  coast  of  Cochin  China  and 
penetrate  as  far  inland  as  he  could.  At  the  end  of  1781 
he  was  sent  to  Nagpur  as  Agent  at  the  Berar  durbar — 
a  difficult  post,  since  Mudaji,  forgetting  his  own  shufflings 
in  the  past,  was  very  angry  to  find  himself  superseded  by 
Sindhia  as  mediator  of  the  treaty  with  the  Marathas. 
With  regard  to  his  present  appointment  as  Cleveland's 
successor,  Hastings  mentions  that  on  his  voyage  up  the 
river  he  heard  unaffected  and  liberal  encomiums  passed 
everywhere  on  poor  Cleveland,  and  found  Chapman 
"  impressed  with  the  most  zealous  disposition  to  copy 
so  good  an  example."  When  Thompson  and  Turner 
had  left  India,  Chapman  succeeded  to  the  charge  of 
Hastings'  interests  there,  and  begs  him  to  assure  Mrs 
Hastings,  when  Julius  Imhoff  was  going  out,  that  "  I 
shall  watch  over  the  Welfare  of  her  young  Man  with 
Eyes  almost  as  attentive  and  solicitous  as  she  could  do 
herself."  Further  particulars  about  him  will  be  found 
in  the  Concluding  Chapter. 

Miss  WILLIAMS  was  a  protegee  of  Mrs  Mary  Harwell, 
Harwell's  sister,  who  sent  her  out  to  Mrs  Hastings'  care 
with  well-defined  views  for  her  future.  This  we  learn 
from  a  letter  in  which  she  expresses  gratitude  for  the 
attention  shown  to  Miss  Williams,  but  has  thought  it 
necessary  to  write  fully  to  Mrs  Hastings  on  her  not  getting 
ja  husband.  Whether  she  thought  Mrs  Hastings  or  Miss 
Williams  to  blame  does  not  appear,  but  it  is  possible  that 
there  was  already  an  attachment  between  Chapman  and 
-the  young  lady,  which  could  not  be  acknowledged  until 
the  appointment  placed  him  in  a  position  to  marry.  The 
references  to  the  D'Oylys  and  to  the  Rocks  of  Colgong 
would  suggest  that  Miss  Williams  was  Mrs  Hastings' 
companion  in  her  shipwreck,  and  that  on  her  departure 
she  took  up  her  residence  with  Lady  D'Oyly. 

JOHN  HOLLOND  was  the  hardly  treated  official  who 
.originally  represented  the  Madras  Committee  at  the 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   VII.  225 

durbar  of  the  Nizam,  but  on  allowing  Hastings  to  be- 
come aware  of  their  provocative  proceedings,  was  dis- 
missed for  revealing  their  secrets  to  "  an  external  govern- 
ment." Hastings  immediately  appointed  him  his  own 
Agent,  and  the  Madras  Council  was  at  length  induced 
to  revoke  his  suspension.  In  1781  Hastings  writes 
to  Scott1  that  Hollond  (mis-spelt  Holland  by  Gleig), 
wished  to  resign  on  account  of  ill-health,  but  remained 
at  his  post  in  the  hope  of  concluding  a  treaty  detaching 
the  Nizam  from  the  Quadruple  Alliance. 

Toone's  BROTHER  William  is  found  in  1807  com- 
manding the  troops  at  Buxar.  Extravagant  himself, 
he  lent  money  to  Mrs  Hastings'  reckless  nephew  Charles 
Chapuset,  who  was  one  of  his  subordinates,  and  continued 
to  do  so,  in  spite  of  Mrs  Hastings'  returning  the  second 
bill  he  drew  on  her,  though  she  had  paid  the  first.2 

GEORGE  NESBITT  THOMPSON,  here  mentioned  for  the 
first  time,  seems  to  have  become  Hastings'  private 
secretary  very  soon  after  helping  to  rescue  Mrs  Hastings 
when  her  boat  was  wrecked  near  Colgong.  The  position 
to  which  he  was  now  nominated  was  that  of  Junior 
Counsel  to  the  Company,  the  Senior  Counsel's  name 
being  Davies.  Thompson's  numerous  letters,  written  in 
a  particularly  legible  and  beautiful  hand,  bear  witness 
to  his  extreme  intimacy  with  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings. 
Julius  Imhoff,  when  he  first  went  out,  lived  with  him 
at  Alipur,  until  Thompson  returned  home  in  1789. 
Christopher  Anstey,  of  Bath,  the  author  of  the  '  New 
Bath  Guide '  and  of  various  other  works  in  verse,  speci- 
mens of  which  he  sends  punctiliously  to  India  for  Mr 
and  Mrs  Hastings,  was  in  some  way  related  to  Thompson 
— possibly  his  maternal  uncle.  "  One  who  is  so  deserv- 
edly dear  to  me,"  he  calls  him. 

SIR  CHARLES  BLUNT  was  one  of  the  most  unsatis- 
factory of  the  "  hard  cases "  shipped  off  to  India  by 
their  despairing  friends  and  imposed  on  Hastings  to  be 

1  Gleig,  II.  382.  2  See  Appendix  III. 

P 


226  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

provided  for.  Barwell  recommends  him  in  1783  as 
having  run  through  his  fortune,  and  deserving  patronage 
for  the  sake  of  his  family  of  three  sons  and  eight 
daughters.  In  spite  of  his  age  and  responsibilities,  he 
came  out  as  a  writer,  but  this  was  merely  for  the  sake 
of  obtaining  leave  to  go  to  India,  not  with  any  intention 
of  working  his  way  up  in  the  service.  He  was  agent 
for  providing  army  bullocks  when  Hastings  left  India,1 
and  very  shortly  afterwards  writes  to  entreat  protection 
against  the  Board  and  Campbell,  the  new  Commander- 
in-Chief,  who  threatened  to  deprive  him  of  his  office. 
He  lost  his  agency,  but  was  allowed  to  become  contractor, 
with  two  others,  for  the  supply  of  bullocks.  Lady  Blunt, 
who  was  a  great  friend  of  the  Toones,  did  not  accompany 
him  to  India.  Blunt  died  in  1802,  "  I  cannot  say 
lamented  except  by  his  family,"  writes  Charles  D'Oyly. 
"  His  family"  must  mean  some  of  his  daughters,  as  "  the 
Miss  Blunts  "  were  going  out  by  the  same  ship  as  Marian 
Brisco  in  1794.  One  of  them,  however,  remained  behind, 
to  marry  Charles  Imhoff.  This  was  Charlotte,  the 
"  sweet  Charlotte  "  of  Mrs  Hastings'  letters  to  her  son. 

MAJOR  CONRAN  was  recommended  to  Hastings  by  his 
friend  Pechell  and  others  in  1781.  He  had  served 
through  the  American  War,  in  which  he  was  wounded, 
and  the  expenses  consequent  on  his  illness  obliged 
him  to  sell  out.  He  came  to  India  overland,  carrying 
despatches. 

MRS  RAMUS  was  Mrs  Vernet's  daughter,  and  has  been 
already  mentioned  as  marrying  Lady  Day's  brother,  the 
match  having  been  arranged  by  Mrs  Hastings.2  In  July, 
1781,  Ramus3  is  named  as  one  of  the  four  commissaries 
appointed  to  take  over  the  bullion  and  valuables  belonging 
to  the  Dutch  company  on  the  capture  of  Chinsura,  and 
also  to  put  the  principal  European  inhabitants  on  their 
parole,  and  keep  the  rest  under  close  observation.  This 

1  See  Appendix  IV.  2  See  supra,  p.  52. 

3  Misprinted  Ramies  in  the  State  Papers. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  VII.  227 

appointment  would  naturally  not  be  a  permanent  one. 
The  marriage  appears  to  have  turned  out  ill,  for  in  a 
Calcutta  letter  of  1809  we  read  of  "  Ramus's  daughter  " 
as  being  "worse  than  her  mother." 

JOHN  BRISTOW  was  the  civilian  whose  assiduous  atten- 
tions to  the  Majority  on  their  arrival  in  Bengal  were 
rewarded  with  the  post  of  Resident  at  Lucknow  in  place 
of  Middleton.  He  it  was  who  forced  the  young  Nawab- 
Vizier  to  resign  his  claim  to  the  treasure  held  by  the 
Begums,  and  negociated  the  treaty  which  robbed  him 
of  Benares.  When  Monson's  death  restored  Hastings 
to  power,  he  lost  little  time  in  recalling  Bristow 
(December,  1776),  despite  the  protests  of  Francis  and 
Clavering.  The  Court  of  Directors  sent  various  angry 
letters  ordering  his  reinstatement,  but  he  remains  in 
obscurity  until  October,  1782,  when  Hastings  sent  him 
back  to  Lucknow,  as  mentioned  in  the  notes  to  Letter  II. 
Bristow's  further  proceedings  will  be  noticed  in  the 
course  of  the  present  Series.  He  married  a  lady  who 
will  be  remembered  by  Dr  Busteed's  readers  as  the  toast 
of  Calcutta  during  1781  and  1782,  and  as  having  attracted 
the  anxious  admiration  of  the  Editor  of  the  *  Bengal 
Gazette,'  who  alludes  to  her  affectionately  as  "  Turban 
Conquest,  the  Chinsura  Belle."  Mr  Hicky's  paper  was 
suppressed  before  he  could  chronicle  the  climax  of  the 
fair  Emma's  triumphant  career,  but  the  marriage  is 
thus  announced  in  the  *  India  Gazette ' :  "On  Monday 
last  (May  27th,  1782),  at  Chinsurah,  John  Bristowe,  Esq., 
to  Miss  Wrangham."  Dr  Busteed,  who  has  not  observed 
the  coincidence,  notes  elsewhere  that  Mrs  John  Bristow 
set  the  fashion  in  Calcutta  of  ladies'  appearing  upon 
the  stage.  She  had  a  private  theatre  at  her  house  in 
Chowringee,  and  herself  took  the  leading  parts  in  the 
plays  produced. 

DR  BALFOUR  had  been  surgeon  to  the  Chanar  garrison, 
but  Hastings  was  in  correspondence  with  him  long  before 
his  visit  to  the  fortress.  Balfour  was  a  vigilant  guardian 


228  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

of  his  interests,  and  in  1783  writes  to  warn  him  that 
the  Resident  of  Benares  (the  younger  Fowke,  who  had, 
like  Bristow,  been  reinstated  at  the  order  of  the  Court 
of  Directors),1  was  intriguing  with  Chait  Singh  with  a 
view  to  procuring  the  restoration  of  the  zamindari  to 
him.  He  remained  in  the  service  till  1807,  when  he 
retired. 

MUNNY  BEGUM  (Mani  Begam,  the  Jewel  Lady),  was 
one  of  the  widows  of  Mir  Jafir,  whom  the  English  placed 
on  the  masnad  as  Nawab  of  Bengal  after  Plassey.  Three 
of  his  sons  by  different  wives  succeeded  him,  Munny 
Begum's,  Saif-u-Daula,  being  the  second.  When  Saif- 
u-Daula  died,  Hastings  appointed  her,  as  the  senior  lady 
of  the  zenana,  regent  during  the  minority  of  his  half- 
brother,  Mubarak-u-Daula.  This  choice,  though  he  was 
practically  forced  to  it  by  the  grave  objections  attaching 
to  the  other  possible  candidates,  brought  upon  him  an 
extraordinary  amount  of  obloquy,  and  was  freely  attri- 
buted, at  one  time  to  the  bribes,  at  another  to  the 
charms,  of  the  lady.  Utterly  unacquainted  with  the 
usages  of  the  East,  Burke  and  his  supporters  conceived 
it  impossible  that  a  quondam  dancing-girl  could  be  raised 
by  royal  favour  to  a  position  of  respectability,  far  less 
of  authority,  and  exhausted  their  eloquence  in  depicting 
the  injustice  inflicted  on  Babu  Begam,  the  mother  of 
Mubarak-u-Daula,  in  not  appointing  her  regent — all  un- 
conscious of  the  fact  that  she  also  had  been  a  dancing- 
girl !  The  author  of  the  Se'ir  ~  ul  -  Mutaqharin  describes 
Munny  Begum  as  haughty  and  overbearing  in  character, 
but  steadfast  and  faithful,  never  forsaking  a  friend.  A 
woman  of  great  capacity,  she  failed  as  a  ruler  owing  to 
her  practice  of  leaving  the  actual  control  of  the  govern- 
ment to  her  chief  slave,  Itbar  Ali  Khan,  instead  of  sitting 
behind  a  curtain  and  hearing  complaints  herself.  When 
she  was  ousted  from  office,  she  contrived  to  maintain  her 
influence  by  means  of  her  wealth,  terrifying  her  stepson. 

1  See  infra,  p.  316. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  VII.  22Q 

by  threatening  to  "  squander  her  riches  among  the  poor, 
or  leave  them  to  strangers  and  Frenghees."  She  re- 
mained faithful  to  Hastings  through  all  his  troubles,  and 
there  is  an  affectionate  letter  from  her  in  1789,  addressed 
"To  my  Beloved  Daughter,  the  Light  of  mine  Eye,  who 
art  Dear  as  my  Soul,  Mrs  Warren  Hastings,  may  God 
preserve  her  in  Good  Health !  "  and  complaining  of  her 
silence.  Lord  Valentia  visited  Munny  Begum  at  Mur- 
shidabad  in  1804,  and  seeing  her  dimly  through  the 
pardah,  describes  her  as  short  and  stout,  with  large 
features  and  a  loud  voice.  She  had  not  left  her  own 
courtyard  in  the  palace  since  her  husband's  death,  forty 
years  before,  which  accounts  for  the  injurious  seclusion 
mentioned  above.  In  1805,  when  Palmer  took  up  the 
command  at  Barhampur,  he  describes  the  civilities  he 
received  from  the  Nabob  and  the  Begums,  especially 
Munny  Begum,  "  who  may  at  this  time  of  day  accept  of 
my  Devoirs  without  Scandal."  When  Lord  Valentia 
saw  her,  she  confessed  to  being  sixty-eight,  but  must 
have  been  much  older,  for  in  1813  Toone  mentions  that 
Munny  Bigham  died  on  January  loth,  at  the  age  of 
ninety-seven. 

The  shoka  or  shoccah  (shuqqa,  a  letter),  from  the 
Emperor  Shah  Alam,  conferring  TITLES  of  honour  on 
Hastings,  arrived  on  September  7th,  1783,  and  Mrs 
Hastings  had  received  hers  by  November  5th.  Hastings 
is  addressed  as  "  our  fortunate  son,  the  most  exalted  of 
our  exalted  Umrahs,"1  and  the  Emperor  says,  "We  now 
esteem  you  as  the  offspring  of  this  Royal  House,  and 
therefore  have  in  this  our  shoccah  honoured  you  with  the 
title  of  our  noble  and  fortunate  son."  This  species  of 
adoption  must  have  been  common,  for  the  minister 
Mujid-u-Daula  is  spoken  of  as  "  our  beloved  son."  The 
'  Morning  Chronicle '  for  October  5th,  1784,  gives 
Hastings'  Persian  titles  in  full  as  engraved  upon  a 
seal :  "  Nabob  Governor  -  General  Hastings  Saub, 

1  State  Papers. 


230  LETTERS   OF  WARREN   HASTINGS. 

(Sahib),  Pillar  of  the  Empire,  Fortunate  in  War,  Hero, 
Most  Princely  Offspring  of  the  Loins  of  the  King  of 
the  Universe,  Defender  of  the  Modammedan  Faith  and 
Asylum  of  the  World,"  &c.,  &c.  .  The  Se'ir-ul-Muta- 
qharin  gives  them  as  "  Umad-ul-Mulk,  Mester  Hashtin 
Bahadar,  Jaladat  Jang,"  which  it  translates  as  "  Mester 
Hushtin,  the  prop  of  the  State  and  the  impetuous  in 
war."  Mrs  Hastings'  titles,  engraved  on  a  large  fine 
ruby,  were,  according  to  the  '  Chronicle,'  "  Royal  and 
Imperial  Governess,  Elegance  of  the  Age,  Most  exalted 
Bilkiss,  Zobaide  of  the  Palaces,  Most  Heroic  Princess, 
Ruby,  Marian  Hastings  Sauby  (Sahiba),  &c.,  &c.  .  ' 
This  must  be  the  seal  which  is  mentioned  in  Letter 
XXIV.,  and  her  husband  comments  on  the  titles  them- 
selves, with  gentle  irony,  in  Letter  XXVII.  "  Governess  " 
is,  of  course,  used  as  the  feminine  of  Governor.  Bilkis 
is  the  name  given  by  Oriental  legend  to  the  Queen  of 
Sheba.  Zubeydeh  was  the  favourite  wife  of  Harun-er- 
Rashid,  and  her  tomb  is  still  shown  at  Baghdad. 

EDWARD  TIRETTA  was  an  inhabitant  of  Calcutta,  who 
incurred  the  scorn  of  the  '  Bengal  Gazette '  by  his  ad- 
herence to  Hastings,  and  was  alleged  to  have  received 
knighthood  at  his  hands.  Dr  Busteed  has  a  curious  note 
identifying  him  with  one  of  the  boon  companions  of 
Casanova.  In  1797  he  writes  to  Hastings  to  congratu- 
late him  on  the  result  of  the  Trial,  and  to  introduce  his 
sister-in-law,  Miss  Josephin1  Carrion,  who  is  coming  to 
England  under  the  care  of  Colonel  White's  widow, 
Hastings'  cousin,  to  receive  "  an  Education  suitable  to 
her  Birth,  and  to  my  family."  He  is  sure  that  a  "  sens- 
ible soul  like  yours"  will  receive  "the  little,  young  lady" 
with  kindness,  regarding  her  as  "not  a  sister-in-law,  but 
a  Daughter,"  to  Tiretta. 

The  CHURCH  SCHEME  was  one  much  needed  in  Cal- 
cutta. After  the  destruction  in  1756  of  the  original 
church  (the  site  of  which  is  supposed  now  to  be  occu- 

1  Not  Roselyn,  as  misprinted  by  Dr  Busteed. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  VII.  231 

pied  by  St  Andrew's  Presbyterian  Church),  no  attempt 
was  made  to  supply  its  place.  Service  was  held,  says  the 
author  of  '  Hartly  House,'  in  a  ground-floor  room  in  the 
Old  Fort,  fitted  with  plain  pews,  the  Governor's  little 
better  than  the  rest,  and  with  very  poor  accommodation 
for  the  clergyman.  In  1759  John  Zacharias  Kiernander, 
one  of  the  Danish  missionaries  working  in  South  India, 
was  invited  to  Calcutta  by  Clive  and  Watts,  and  was 
appointed  chaplain  of  Fort  William.1  He  interested 
himself  in  providing  education  for  poor  European  and 
country-born  children,  and  laboured  with  success  among 
the  Topasses  (half-caste  Portuguese),  assisted  by  two 
converts  from  Romanism  who  had  followed  him  from 
Tranquebar.  For  the  congregation  thus  gathered  he 
built  what  was  called  the  New  Missionary  Church,  the 
first  stone  of  which  was  laid  in  1767,  and  which  was  com- 
pleted in  1771.  His  own  name  for  it  was  Beth-Tephillah, 
the  House  of  Prayer.  He  himself  gave  £8000  towards 
the  building,  and  his  second  wife  (he  had  married  a  rich 
widow),  parted  with  her  jewels  to  endow  the  school  con- 
nected with  it.  The  cost  of  the  church  exceeded  his  esti- 
mate, his  wife  died,  and  his  lavish  expenditure  brought 
him  into  difficulties.  He  was  totally  blind  for  three  or 
four  years,  and  was  obliged  to  be  helped  into  the  pulpit, 
but  was  eventually  relieved  by  an  operation  performed  by 
the  surgeon  of  an  Indiaman.  Trying  to  maintain  his 
work  by  embarking  upon  a  printing  business,  he  came 
into  violent  collision  with  Mr  Hicky  of  the  *  Bengal 
Gazette,'  who  libelled  him  passionately  and  persistently, 
until  he  was  forced  to  have  recourse  to  the  law.  Hicky's 
mouth  was  stopped,  but  he  was  unable  to  pay  the  fines 
imposed  on  him,  and  Kiernander's  financial  position 
became  worse  and  worse.  In  1787  the  church  was  seized 
by  the  sheriff  on  behalf  of  his  creditors.  Charles  Grant 
advanced  10,000  rupees  to  rescue  it,  and  finally  bought 
the  building  with  the  assistance  of  two  of  his  friends. 

1  Anglo-India. 


232  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Known  as  the  Old  Mission  Church,  it  remained  in  the 
hands  of  trustees  until  1870,  when  the  patronage  was 
vested  in  the  Church  Missionary  Society. 

The  Old  Church  provided  for  the  needs  of  the  "  black 
Christians,"  but  a  feeling  had  long  been  spreading  among 
the  Europeans  that  they  ought  to  have  a  church  of  their 
own,  and  that  the  existing  state  of  things  was  disgraceful. 
The  war  prevented  any  appeal  for  funds  while  it  lasted, 
but  the  scheme  must  have  been  making  its  way  quietly, 
for  on  December  i8th,  1783,  the  '  India  Gazette '  an- 
nounces that  a  meeting  of  subscribers  to  the  proposal 
for  building  a  church  was  held  in  the  chapel  in  the 
Old  Fort.  Hay  was  appointed  secretary  to  the  com- 
mittee, among  the  members  of  which  were  Hastings, 
Wheler,  McPherson,  Stables,  and  the  two  chaplains — 
Johnson  and  Blanshard.  The  committee  was  to  meet 
at  seven  every  Monday  evening,  and  there  was  to  be  a 
quarterly  meeting  of  subscribers.  The  "  Old  Magazine 
Yard  "  was  given  as  a  site,  presumably  by  the  Company,1 
and  Hastings  gave  two  thousand  sicca  rupees  to  head 
the  subscription  list.  It  was  agreed  that  the  plans  should 
be  prepared  as  soon  as  the  committee  had  20,000  rupees 
in  hand,  and  the  work  of  building  begun  when  they  had 
30,000.  The  money  must  have  come  in  well,  for  the 
foundation  was  laid  by  Wheler  (in  Hastings'  absence 
up  the  country),  on  April  6th,  1784,  after  a  public  break- 
fast for  the  gentlemen  of  the  settlement  at  the  Old  Court 
House.  In  June  there  is  the  announcement  of  a  lottery 
for  the  benefit  of  the  building  fund,  and  in  February  of  the 
following  year  Hastings  presents  an  additional  piece  of 
ground  to  the  church  immediately  before  his  departure. 
Asiaticus,  in  his  'Ecclesiastical  and  Historical  Sketches 
of  Bengal,'  mentions  that  St  Stephen's,  Walbrook,  was  the 
model  for  the  building.  Grandpre"  admires  it  immensely, 
describing  it  as  superb  and  regular,  with  Doric  pillars 

1  Asiaticus  says  that  the  site  was  the  Old  Burying-ground,  with  an  addition 
given  by  Rajah  Nobkissen. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  VII.  233 

and  cornice,  and  an  ornamented  architrave.  The  lady 
novelist  already  quoted  is  chiefly  impressed  by  the  fact 
that,  being  erected  on  the  European  model,  it  was  to 
possess  galleries  and  bells.  The  settlement  had  hitherto 
boasted  only  a  single  bell,  which  was  used  for  funerals. 
Asiaticus  gives  some  particulars  of  the  materials  used. 
With  true  Scotch  thriftiness  Charles  Grant  proposed  the 
employment  of  the  hewn  blue  stones  and  masses  of  blue 
marble  to  be  found  among  the  ruins  of  Gaur,  but  this 
suggestion  was  evidently  overruled.  Fifteen  and  a  half 
lakhs  of  bricks  were  used,  the  cut  stone  was  brought 
from  the  Chanar  quarries  and  the  moulded  stones  pre- 
pared at  Benares,  while  the  agate  for  the  inside  plastering 
came  from  Bhagalpur.  Dr  Busteed  notes  that  the  church 
(the  present  St  John's  Cathedral),  was  opened  for  service 
on  June  24th,  1787,  the  sermon  being  preached  by 
William  Johnson,  the  senior  chaplain,  and  the  collection 
amounting  to  3000  sicca  rupees. 

It  will  be  noted  that  Major  Davy,  to  whom  this  letter 
and  Munny  Begum's  gift  of  ivory  furniture  for  Mrs 
Hastings  were  entrusted,  must  have  passed  on  his  charge 
faithfully  to  another  messenger  when  he  perceived  that 
he  would  not  live  to  reach  England. 

CALCUTTA,  -$\st  January,  1784. 
Closed  the  6th  February. 

(Endorsed  by  Mrs  Hastings,  "  Received  September  8th.") 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  have  received  your  Letter 
by  the  Pilot,  who  brought  it  to  me  the  Night  before  last. 
Poor  Clevland  !  Had  his  Death  happened  unconnected 
with  Circumstances  of  infinitely  greater  Concern  to  me, 
I  should  have  felt  it  as  others  have  done,  for  he  is  greatly 
lamented  and  universally.  I  have  other  Griefs,  and  Fears 
exceeding  even  those  Griefs,  and  I  less  regret  his  Loss 
than  that  he  died  on  the  Atlas.  He  ought  not  for  his 


234  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

own  Sake  to  have  gone  in  his  desperate  Condition,  nor 
ought  I  for  yours  have  suffered  it.  But  this  is  but  a 
small  Part  of  the  Follies  which  I  have  committed,  de- 
liberately and  with  a  Violence  to  my  own  Will  and 
Happiness,  and  to  my  own  Judgement. — Your  Motive 
for  sending  back  the  Sloop  was  consistent  with  the 
generous  and  unequalled  Sensibility  of  my  dear  Marian. 
This  is  her  peculiar  Virtue,  and  too  often  her  Misery, 
— and  as  often  mine.  Yet  I  wish  that  the  Vessell  could 
have  attended  you  three  Days  further;  for  Mr  Doveton 
tells  me  that  in  that  Run  you  would  fall  in  with  lighter 
Breezes,  and  those  blowing  from  the  Eastward,  which 
would  greatly  abate  the  Ship's  Motion ;  And  you  would 
possibly  be  relieved  from  the  Sickness  and  Pains  which 
you  suffered  when  you  wrote  to  me.  I  might  then 
have  known  that  these  were  past,  and  have  entertained 
the  consolatory  Hope  that  a  little  Repose  with  a  few 
Days  of  tranquil  Weather,  and  the  Air  above  Stairs, 
would  season  you  for  the  worst  that  you  had  to  meet 
in  the  Voyage.  I  know  not  now  what  to  think.  I 
read  your  Letter  in  such  a  State  of  Mind  as  I  should 
have  been  in  had  it  told  me  that  it  was  the  last  that 
I  was  ever  to  receive  from  you.  I  cannot  without  the 
most  painful  Apprehension  reflect  on  the  long  Agitation 
of  Mind  which  you  have  undergone,  what  you  must 
have  suffered  from  the  Instant  of  our  Separation,  Clev- 
land's  approaching  End,  his  Death  so  soon  following, 
the  Complication  of  Disorders  incident  to  a  Sea  Sick- 
ness, and  especially  the  Want  of  Rest  and  Food,  and 
the  Sickness  of  Mrs  Motte  depriving  you  of  the  Con- 
solation and  Relief  which  her  Presence  would  have 
afforded  you,  and  you  have  no  other  Resource.  These 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   VII.  235 

Evils  would  be  of  little  Consequence  to  a  strong  Consti- 
tution, but  your  tender  Frame  is  not  equal  to  them. 
Were  I  with  you,  you  would  suffer  little  from  the 
Complaints  which  have  no  Connection  with  my  Absence, 
and  I  know  that  I  could  prescribe  their  instant  Relief; 
besides  that  Support  which  my  Attention,  and  I  may 
add  my  Caresses,  which  never  yet  failed  of  their  Effect, 
would  have  afforded  to  your  Spirits.  I  am  angry  at 
my  Friends  who  to  appease  my  Fears  assure  me  of  the 
Benefit  which  you  must  receive  from  the  Sea  Air ;  as  if 
the  Disorders  of  the  Body  were  occasioned  only  by 
external  Causes,  or  could  derive  their  Cure  from  mere 
medicinal  Remedies.  I  am  much  stronger  than  you, 
and  my  Mind  more  capable  of  throwing  off  its  Afflictions, 
and  reconciling  itself  to  them :  Yet  on  the  Day  that  I 
left  you  I  gradually  contracted  so  severe  a  Head  Ache, 
not  from  any  Motion  of  the  Boat,  for  we  had  scarce 
any,  that  I  became  almost  distracted  with  it  before  the 
Evening,  though  I  had  no  Symptom  of  Indisposition 
before  I  left  you. — How  much  more  severely  must  the 
Sensibility  of  your  Heart  (have)  affected  your  Health ! 
I  indeed  have  had  a  continual  Succession  of  Occupations 
to  take  off  the  Pressure  of  my  Loss,  and  prevent  my 
Mind  from  brooding  over  its  Griefs.  You  have  not  that 
Resource,  and  the  Solitude  to  which  you  are  doomed 
even  by  the  Condition  which  requires  every  Mode  of 
Relief,  with  an  Associate  in  the  same  and  almost  equal 
Distress,  must  aggravate  it. 

All  this  I  foresaw  and  predicted  it  in  little  Starts  of 
Petulancy  from  the  Instant  of  forming  the  Resolution 
which  I  now  most  bitterly  repent.  But  all  our  prudent 
Friends  urged  the  Propriety  of  it,  and  foreboded  such 


236  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

dreadful  Consequences  from  your  remaining  in  the 
Country,  that  I  who  ever  made  it  a  fixed  Rule  to  sacrifice 
my  own  Ease  and  Happiness  to  yours,  and  who  could 
not  support  the  Idea  of  being  reproached  with  being  the 
Cause  of  the  fatal  Consequences  which  were  apprehended 
from  your  Continuance  in  a  Climate  so  unfavourable  to 
your  Constitution,  I  yielded.  You  too,  my  Marian,  once 
or  twice  alluded  to  some  unhappy  Instances,  with  a 
Reflexion  that  the  Subjects  of  them  had  stayed  too 
long.1  A  suggestion  like  this  could  not  fail  to  make  a 
deep  Impression  on  my  Mind,  already  susceptible  to  the 
slightest  Cause  of  Alarm  when  your  Health  was  con- 
cerned, and  proceeding  from  you  was  probably  more 
than  any  other  Consideration  that  which  determined 
me.  Yet  I  never  in  my  Heart  approved  it,  and  still 
think  that  Expedients  might  have  been  adopted  that 
would  have  preserved  your  Health  from  any  dangerous 
Attack  by  guarding  it  against  the  Influence  of  the  only 
Season  which  was  very  hurtful  to  it,  without  removing 
us  from  (sic)  a  Distance  so  frightful  from  each  other, 
and  if  we  did  not  meet,  it  would  have  been  a  Consola- 
tion that  we  had  it  in  our  Power  whenever  any  Cause  of 
uncommon  Urgency  required  it,  and  we  should  have  had 
a  continued  and  early  Notice  of  whatever  might  lead  to 
such  a  Call.  O  God !  what  a  Change  was  effected  in  the 
State  of  my  Existence,  within  the  Compass  of  a  few 
Minutes !  And  what  were  my  Reflexions  while  I  passed 
from  the  Ship  to  my  Pinnace !  My  Imagination  pre- 
sented you  before  me  as  I  held  you  in  my  Arms  but  a 
few  Moments  past,  gazing  with  Fondness,  and  with 
Despair,  on  all  the  Wealth  that  my  Soul  ever  sought 

1  See  infra,  p.  375. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  VII.  237 

to  amass ;  I  still  felt  the  Moisture  of  your  sweet  Lips, 
and  the  warm  Pressure  of  your  last  Embrace,  and  my 
Heart  told  me  that  I  had  lost  you  for  ever.  I  taxed 
myself  with  Indifference  to  your  Happiness  and  my  own, 
and  was  stupified  with  Astonishment  at  the  Labor  which 
I  had  with  so  persevering  an  Industry  taken  to  destroy 
both.  I  had  bestowed  a  large  portion  of  my  Time  on  the 
Means  of  arranging  it ;  I  had  used  Contrivances  to  over- 
come some  Difficulties  which  opposed  it ;  I  had  parted 
with  a  large  Portion  of  my  Fortune  to  accomplish  it ;  and 
having  conducted  you  to  the  Borders  of  Ocean,  and  seen 
you  irrevocably  departed,  I  was  returning  with  the  Con- 
templation of  the  complete  Success  which  had  attended 
so  many  Exertions,  and  with  a  Heart  full  of  Execrations, 
which  had  no  Object  but  myself,  for  having  made  them. 

I  scarce  know  why  I  write  this,  unless  it  be  to  gratify 
my  own  present  Feelings.  It  may  give  you  Pain  to  read 
so  gloomy  a  State  of  my  Mind ;  but  it  will  be  a  Pain  of 
that  Kind  which  will  produce  its  own  Relief  by  its  Con- 
formity to  what  may  have  passed  within  your  own  Breast* 
Yet  am  I  sure  ...?...  But  I  will  stop  the  Course  of  my 
Reflexions,  and  apply  myself  to  some  other  Employment 
in  which  they,  nor  you,  have  no  Part.  .  .  . 

I  return  to  my  dear  Marian,  and  shall  borrow  many  an 
abrupt  and  solitary  Interval  to  indulge  myself  in  this 
Semblance  of  Conversation  with  her ; — but  how  faint  the 
Resemblance  !  I  experience  indeed  a  momentary  Illusion, 
but  it  instantly  disappears  and  shews  me  through  the 
Void  all  the  Delights  of  that  Entertainment  whose  Image 
I  seek,  and  which  my  Fancy  cannot  recover,  the  beloved 
Face,  the  animated  and  vivid  Expression  of  Features,  the 
Look  of  Benevolence  unspeakable,  the  sweet  Music  of 


238  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

her  Tongue,  and  a  thousand  imperceptible  Graces  that 
embellished  her  Words,  and  gave  them  the  Power  of 
Impression  exceeding  the  strongest  Effects  of  the  Under- 
standing. Your  Letter  presents  none  of  these  Attractions  ; 
yet  it  contains  your  Words  and  conveys  your  Thoughts ; 
and  I  had  rather  brood  over  the  melancholy  Passions 
excited  by  it  than  be  a  Sharer  in  the  most  pleasing 
Entertainment  that  Nature  or  Art  could  afford  me.  I 
have  been  again  reading  your  Letter,  with  Mrs  Motte's 
and  the  others  that  came  with  it.  I  am  not  easy;  yet 
I  think  I  see  less  Cause  in  them  for  Apprehension  than  I 
did.  And  I  will  hope  for  the  best. — I  will  hope  that  I 
shall  again  see  my  Marian,  and  see  her  as  much  more 
amiable l  than  she  was  as  perfect  Health  alone  can  make 
her;  and  I  will  count  off  the  Days  of  our  Separation 
and  please  myself  with  seeing  their  Numbers  diminish : 
— but  this  is  an  Employment  that  I  shall  not  begin 
upon  till  I  once  more  hear  from  you,  and  read  in  your 
own  Handwriting  that  fair  Prospect  of  its  Conclusion. 
I  am  interrupted,  and  will  change  the  Subject  to 
others  less  interesting. — I  have  numbered  all  my  Letters, 
and  beg  that  you  will  arrange  them  as  you  receive  them, 
to  see  whether  any  miscarry.  Mrs  Sands  has  the  three 
first  Numbers. — Captain  Peiarce  of  the  Halsewell  has 
No.  4 ;  —  Captain  Price  of  the  Ceres  No.  5 ;  and  C. 
(Captain)  Taylor  of  the  Talbot  the  Duplicate  of  this. — 
I  have  delivered  No.  6  to  Mr  Pasley,  who  is  a  passenger 
on  the  Rey  de  Portugal. — These  are  all  directed  to  you 
at  the  Cape,  if  they  should  have  the  good  Luck  to  reach 
you  there.  Mr  Pasley  is  confident  of  it.2  If  One  of  the 

1  The  word  had  still  the  sense  of  lovely  as  well  as  lovable. 

2  See  infra,  p.  278. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   VII.  239 

Letters  reaches  you,  it  will  give  you  as  much  Information 
as  all  the  rest :  Yet  I  should  be  grieved  if  any  were  lost. 
Indeed  the  Apprehension  of  it  is  a  great  Check  to  me 
when  I  write,  as  I  wish  to  say  a  thousand  Things  which 
might  be  acceptable  to  my  Marian,  but  which  I  do  not 
choose  that  others  should  hear. — This  Major  Davy  will 
take  into  his  Charge,  and  if  you  stop  at  the  Cape,  he 
will  have  a  Chance  of  delivering  it  at  St  Helena,  as  his 
Ship  passes  the  Cape. — I  have  obtained  the  succession 
to  Clevland's  Station  for  Chapman,  and  he  is  going  to 
be  married — wonder  to  whom — to  Miss  Williams. — The 
Ceremony  is  to  be  performed  on  next  Wednesday,  and 
the  D'oyleys  stay  3  Days  longer  than  their  appointed 
Time  for  that  Purpose. — I  have  left  Allipoor  for  ever. — 
It  is  advertised  for  Sale  in  three  Lots. — Richard  Johnson 
is  appointed  our  public  Minister  at  Hydrabad,  Mr  Hol- 
lond's  former  Station.  —  Major  Toone  and  his  Brother 
under  him  have  Charge  of  the  Corps  of  Militia  at 
Murshedabad  ;  and  Mr  Thompson  who  is  too  sick  to 
accompany  me  is  nominated  to  be  the  Company's 
Advocate  in  the  Room  of  Mr  Lawrence  who  is  dead. 
I  have  still  Sir  Charles  Blunt  and  Major  Conran  dead 
weights  on  my  hands,  and  Mrs  Ramus  teizing  me  for 
her  stupid  Husband. — I  know  you  are  interested  in  these 
Points,  and  therefore  I  relate  them. 

Last  night,  the  4th  of  February,  Chapman  was  married 
to  Miss  Williams,  who  is  said  to  be  much  pleased  with 
her  Choice.  She  never  mentioned  his  Name  to  me, 
which  I  ascribe  to  a  Diffidence  natural  on  such  a  Sub- 
ject, though  I  am  sorry  for  it,  as  no  one  knows 
Chapman's  merits  so  well  as  I  do,  and  she  is  of  a 
Disposition  which  is  so  much  influenced  by  the  Credit 


240  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

of  personal  Character  that  my  Opinion  of  the  Resolu- 
tion she  has  taken  would  have  been  pleasing  to  her. 
They  went  off  last  Night,  he  happy  as  a  Prince,  and  if 
she  does  not  confirm  his  Satisfaction,  which  I  believe 
she  will,  I  shall  wish  her  sunk  between  the  Rocks  of 
Colgong.  —  Lady  D'Oyly  and  her  family  left  me  this 
Morning,  the  5th.  —  They  have  filled  up  my  vacant 
House  agreeably,  though  they  imposed  a  Restraint  upon 
me  for  a  few  Days,  which  I  should  have  been  better 
pleased  to  have  devoted  to  my  own  solitary  Reflexions, 
and  should  have  been  probably  the  worse  for  it. 

I  repeat  the  substance  of  my  former  Letters  because 
I  know  not  which  may  first  come  to  your  Hands. 

Mr  McPherson  is  still  at  Ganjam,  not  recovered. 

On  the  2oth  of  last  Month  I  delivered  a  Minute  to 
the  Board  proposing  my  visit  to  Lucnow,  as  I  expected 
that  the  Nabob  would  require  it,  and  it  was  a  Measure 
which  would  require  some  Preparation,  and  would  not 
admit  of  Delay.  Mr  Wheler  said  that  he  would  agree 
to  it  whenever  the  Nabob's  Invitation  arrived,  and  Mr 
Stables  in  his  coarse  Manner  objected,  because  he  said 
he  doubted  whether  the  Governor  could  be  lawfully 
absent,  and  he  expected  me  to  be  shortly  dismissed  from 
my  Office.  These  were  not  his  Words,  but  the  Sense 
was  implied  in  them  :  "  New  Arrangements  were  shortly 
expected,  he  said,  from  England." — And  let  them  come : 
Most  joyfully  should  I  receive  and  submit  to  them. — 
But  to  go  on.  Considering  the  Point  in  Effect,  though 
not  in  Form  determined  I  have  made  all  the  Necessary 
Preparations  for  my  Journey,  having  dispatched  almost 
all  my  Things,  and  the  two  Corps  of  my  Body  Guard 
marched  about  a  Week  ago. — The  Nabob  of  Owd  was 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  VII.  241 

on  the  igth  of  last  Month  on  a  Hunting  Party  220 
Miles  from  Lucnow,  having  made  that  Excursion  to 
avoid  the  Indignities  offered  him  by  Mr  Bristow.  He 
was  expected  back  in  about  12  Days.  Of  Course  I  shall 
not  receive  his  Reply  to  my  public  Letter  before  the 
loth  of  this  Month.  This  will  occasion  some  Delay ; 
but  I  believe  I  shall  not  make  my  Departure  later  than 
the  2Oth  of  this  Month.  I  shall  go  by  the  Post  Bearers 
as  far  as  Patna,  and  from  thence  by  easy  Stages,  and  well 
attended. — I  shall  take  Dr  Balfour  with  me,  as  an  Escort 
to  my  Health.  I  never  before  thought  of  using  such 
Precautions ; x  but  I  now  require  them,  and  I  will  live 
for  the  Chance  of  once  more  possessing  my  beloved 
Marian. 

What  Stay  I  shall  make  at  Lucnow  I  cannot  conjec- 
ture. It  will  depend  on  a  Number  of  Contingencies ; 
the  State  of  Affairs  there ;  Embarrassments  or  open 
Hostility  from  Calcutta,  though  I  do  not  much  expect 
them ;  the  Appointment  of  my  Successor  from  England ; 
possibly  his  near  Approach  or  Arrival;  or  other  Orders 
from  home.  These,  or  any  of  these  may  quicken  my 
Return  ;  but  I  think  it  most  probable  that  I  shall  be 
suffered  to  remain  in  the  quiet  Prosecution  of  my  Plans 
at  Lucnow,  and  that  these  will  furnish  me  with  abundant 
Matter  to  detain  me  to  the  next  Rains  ;  and  in  that 
Case  I  shall  come  down  at  my  Ease  in  your  favourite 
Budgerow,2  and  pass  the  Months  of  August  and  Septem- 
ber, or  at  least  the  latter,  with  Sir  John  D'oyly  at 

1  "Nor  has  any  provision  been  assigned  me  of  a  domestic  surgeon,  nor 
a  domestic  chaplain.     Neither  my  constitution  nor  my  religious  principles 
have  been  a  charge   to  the   Company,"      Hastings  to   Laurence   Sulivan, 
Gleig,  II.  328. 

2  See  infra,  p.  320. 


242  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Ranjamutty. — I  go  on  a  bold  Adventure,  from  a  divided 
and  hostile  Council  to  a  Scene  of  Difficulties  unsur- 
mountable  but  by  very  powerful  Exertions ;  to  a  Country 
wasted  by  Famine,  and  threatened  with  an  invading 
Enemy;  to  a  Government  loosened  by  a  twelvemonth's 
Distraction,  its  Wealth  exhausted,  and  its  Revenue  dis- 
sipated ;  I  go  without  a  fixed  Idea  of  the  Instruments 
which  I  am  to  employ,  or  the  Materials  on  which  I 
am  to  act ;  with  great  Expectations  entertained  by 
others,  but  very  moderate  of  my  own ;  and  my  Su- 
periors at  home  laboring  to  thwart,  and  if  they  can, 
determined  to  remove  me ; — and  all  this  as  well  known 
to  the  Indian  World  as  our  own. — Add  to  all  the  fore- 
going a  Mind  unequal  to  its  former  strength,  and  a 
Constitution  very  much  impaired.  —  Yet  I  go  with 
confidence,  and  should  go  with  a  cheerful  Heart,  but 
for  a  strange  Sensation  of  removing  still  further  from 
my  Marian,  though  it  is  the  Time  not  Distance  of 
Place  that  I  ought  to  measure. 

Thompson  tells  me  that  you  carried  with  you  Copies 
of  Munny  Begum's  Letter,  and  of  mine  to  the  Court  of 
Directors  written  in  her  Behalf;  and  Davy  says,  you 
have  the  Letters  from  the  King  and  his  Ministers  with 
your  Titles. — I  therefore  do  not  send  them. 

I  promised  a  Duplicate  of  my  Letter  No.  4;  but  it 
failed  in  the  copying  Press,  and  from  the  Scraps  of  the 
Copy  which  are  legible,  I  shall  not  regret  it,  if  you  do 
not  receive  the  Original. 

Tiretta's  Lottery  is  drawn,  and  the  Prize  has  fallen 
to  himself. — In  the  Enumeration  of  Articles  of  News  I 
must  not  forget  to  inform  you,  my  good  Marian,  that 
the  Church  Scheme  which  you  had  so  much  at  Heart 
goes  on  most  prosperously,  and  I  expect  the  Foundation 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  VII.  243 

to  be  laid  in  less  than  Two  Months.  The  Body  will 
be  a  Square  of  70  Feet,  and  it  will  be  decorated  with 
a  handsome  Steeple. 

So  much  Time  has  elapsed,  and  will  be  past,  at  the 
Time  of  this  Ship's  Dispatch,  that  it  will  be  impossible 
for  my  Letter  to  reach  you  at  St  Helena;  and  I  should 
therefore  prefer  to  send  it  by  the  Packet,  but  that  Major 
Davy  has  desired  with  so  much  Earnestness  to  be  the 
Bearer  of  it  to  England,  that  I  cannot  refuse  him ;  and 
he  promises  to  deliver  it  on  the  Day  of  his  Arrival  in 
London ;  so  that  you  will  receive  it  a  Day  or  Two 
sooner  than  by  the  regular  Channel,  and  I  do  not  like 
to  tell  him  that  there  is  the  Risk  of  his  dying  by  the 
Way  to  cause  it  to  miscarry. 

I  have  now  said  all  that  I  recollect  of  Importance  for 
you  to  know.  Possibly  I  may  have  Occasion  to  send 
another  Letter  after  this  before  the  Ship  is  under  Weigh. 

Remember  to  send  me  two  or  three  Letters  over 
Land.  They  may  reach  me  in  Time,  and  if  they 
should  not,  Care  will  be  taken  of  them  here. 

My  Heart  is  filled  with  Sentiments  and  Emotions 
which  I  cannot  write;  but  nothing  now  which  you 
may  not  infer  from  those  of  your  own.  I  never  cease 
to  think  of  you,  and  with  a  Tenderness  which  no  Words 
can  describe.  I  too  severely  feel  that  you  form  a  Part 
of  my  Existence.  I  remember  when  the  Cares  and 
Fatigues  of  the  Day  made  no  Impression  on  my  Spirits, 
because  I  looked  to  the  Comforts  which  were  to  follow 
the  Close  of  them,  and  which  never  failed  to  efface 
them.  Do  you,  my  sweet  Marian,  recollect  with  what 
Pleasure  I  always  returned  to  you  after  a  Morning  of 
Fatigue,  how  peevishly  I  have  sometimes  resented  your 
Absence  if  you  disappointed  me  of  your  Company  at 


244  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Dinner,  and  how  often  during  the  Course  of  it  I  have 
quitted  my  Company  to  enjoy  a  momentary  Interval 
of  your  delightful  Conversation  ?  And  can  I  now  lose 
you  for  18  long  Months  without  Impatience,  without 
Anguish  ?  Indeed  I  cruelly  feel  it.  I  miss  you  in  every 
Instant  and  Incident  of  my  Life,  and  every  Thing 
seems  to  wear  a  dead  Stillness  around  me.  I  come 
home  as  to  a  solitude.  I  see  a  Crowd  in  my  House, 
and  at  my  Table,  but  not  the  Looks  of  smiling  Wel- 
come which  used  to  make  my  Home  a  Delight  to  me, 
no  Marian  to  infuse  into  my  Heart  the  Fullness  of 
Content,  and  make  me  pleased  with  every  Body,  and 
with  every  Thing  about  me. — Even  in  my  Dreams  I 
have  lost  you. — This  is  not  all,  but  I  must  not  expose 
to  writing  the  fond  Secrets  of  my  Breast  which  should 
be  most  sacredly  reserved  for  yours  alone. — I  am  un- 
happy, and  shall  be  so,  nor  do  I  wish  to  be  otherwise, 
till  I  am  again  in  Possession  of  you. — I  shudder  to 
think  what  may  befall  me  in  the  long  Period  which  I 
allot  for  our  Meeting,  and  what  if  it  be  already  pre- 
cluded for  ever !  I  would  suppress  these  horrid  sug- 
gestions, but  they  will  rise  up  in  my  Mind,  and  will 
I  fear  occupy  it  till  I  hear  from  you.— These  I  expect 
to  give  my  Imagination  full  Employment  in  the  Leisure 
of  my  impending  Journey. 

I  have  received  from  Munny  Begum  Two  Chairs,  2 
Scritores1  and  5  dressing  Boxes,  which  I  have  given 
to  the  Charge  of  Major  Davy. 

I  must  not  forget  to  tell  you  that  it  was  this  Day 
resolved  in  Council,  unanimously  and  heartily,  to  erect 
a  Monument  to  the  Memory  of  Mr  Clevland  at 
Baugulpoor. 

1  Escritoires. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  VIII.  245 

Adieu,  my  beloved.  O  where  are  you  at  this  Instant  ? 
May  the  God  of  Goodness  bless  support  and  preserve 
you! 

Your  faithful  and  most  most  affectionate  Husband 

WARREN  HASTINGS. 

6  February. 

LETTER  VIII. 

This  letter  is  printed  as  it  appears  in  the  MS.,  with  all 
the  contractions  which  Hastings  used  so  frequently,  with 
the  view  of  illustrating  his  rapid  method  of  writing. 

BUSSORA  and  Aleppo  were  the  two  most  important 
stations  for  forwarding  letters  overland,  now  that  the 
Suez  route  was  closed.  At  Aleppo  the  Consul,  Mr 
Abbot,  and  at  Basra  Mr  James  Digges  la  Touche  saw 
to  the  despatch  of  the  packets.  The  cost  of  a  special 
messenger,  such  as  Scott,  in  his  zeal  for  the  safety  and 
speed  of  his  correspondence,  delighted  to  send,  was  enor- 
mous. In  the  account  of  moneys  disbursed  which  he 
sends  in  at  the  end  of  1784  is  an  item  of  £5300  for  this 
purpose  alone.  By  the  easier  Egyptian  route,  when 
that  was  open,  a  single  journey  cost  £600,  the  messenger 
requiring  a  hundred  guineas  in  cash  on  starting,  credit 
for  fifty  guineas  at  Brussels  and  two  hundred  at  Venice, 
and  being  empowered  to  receive  the  rest  from  Baldwyn, 
the  Company's  agent  at  Cairo.  No  wonder  that  Hastings 
writes  to  his  too  zealous  representative,  "  Direct  your 
letters  to  Mr  Latouche  at  Bussora.  Send  no  gentlemen 
emissaries.  They  arrive  late,  and  become  a  perpetual 
charge  upon  me."1 

CALCUTTA.     *]th  February  1784. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  have  written  to  you  3  Lrs. 

by  Mrs  Sands,  No.  4  by  Cn.  Peiarce  of  the  Halsewell, 

No.  5  by  Cn.  Price  of  the  Ceres,   Duplt.  by  C.  Taylor 

of  the   Talbot,   and   No.  6  by   Mr   Pasley.      These,   or 

i  Gleig,  III.  35. 


246  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

some  of  them  I  hope  will  reach  you  at  ye  Cape.  Mjr. 
Davy  has  Charge  of  No.  7.  It  is  long.  He  goes  on 
ye  Ld.  Macartney  whose  Packet  will  be  closed  the 
Day  after  to  morrow. — All  my  Lrs.  long  and  short, 
contain  the  same  Particulars. — On  the  I2th  I  returned 
to  Calcutta.  On  ye  I4th  Mr  Doveton  arrd.  w.  a  Lr. 
from  Mrs  Motte ;  and  on  ye  2Qth  I  rec'd  yours  by  the 
Pilot,  the  Contents  of  wch.  affected  me  much,  and  will 
rest  with  a  contl.  Pressure  on  my  Mind  till  I  can  hear 
from  you,  or  of  you,  again. — I  am  prepared  for  a  Visit 
to  Lucnow.  I  am  in  daily  Expectation  of  the  N'b's 
Lr.  requesting  it.  My  Things  are  gone,  and  I  shall 
follow,  at  ye  latest,  by  the  2Oth. — Post  to  Patna ;  by 
short  Marches,  and  wth.  a  mily.  Escort,  the  rest  of 
the  Way.  Dr  Balfour  accompanies  me. — I  have  adver- 
tised ye  Sale  of  Allipoor  and  Rishera. — Rd.  Johnson  is 
appd.  Minister  at  Hydrabad ;  Chapman  to  Baugulpoor, 
and  married  on  ye  4th  to  Miss  Williams,  her  own  un- 
influenced Choice. —  I  am,  in  Health,  as  when  we 
parted,  and  if  I  leave  Lucnow  as  early  as  I  hope  I 
may,  I  propose  to  pass  the  end  of  the  Rains  at  Ranga- 
mutty;  certainly  not  in  Calcutta.  I  will  live  to  see 
you  again,  if  you  live.  I  have  no  Fears  but  for  you, 
and  these  are  great.  The  Neptune,  wch.  will  carry  this 
with  public  Dispatches  to  Bussora  will  wait  there  for  a 
returning  Packet,  and  possibly  for  the  Reply  to  this. 
Take  ye  Advantage  of  it.  Write  to  me  the  Moment 
you  land,  and  by  such  other  follg.  Opportunities  as 
shall  occur  to  the  latest  Period  from  which  there  is  a 
Chance  of  your  Lrs.  reaching  me,  but  write  only  by 
Land  Conveyances,  none  by  Sea  will  reach  me.  I  am 
fixed  in  my  Resolution  to  follow  you  by  the  End  of 
December.  Nothing  but  Death,  or  bodily  Restraint 


<7 


248  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

For  God's  Sake  do  so,  and  if  the  Picture  is  a  good  one 
have  some  Mezzotinto's  scraped  from  it.  They  will  be 
1000  times  more  valuable  to  your  Friends,  and  creditable 
to  you  than  the  many  bad  Pictures  which  are  now  extant 
of  you."  Unfortunately  this  advice  was  not  followed. 
The  painting  reached  England  in  due  time,  but  "packed 
so  negligently  that  it  arrived  almost  spoiled,"  says 
Hastings,  and  the  lower  portion  still  shows  signs  of  its 
injuries.  Sir  Charles  Lawson  says  that  Mrs  Hastings 
did  not  think  it  did  her  justice,  and  caused  it  to  be  hung 
in  a  remote  part  of  Daylesford  House.  Something  of  the 
same  fate  still  clings  to  it,  and  as  it  was  impossible  to 
remove  it,  it  has  been  photographed  in  its  place.  The 
Siddons  -  like  gaze,  to  which  Sir  C.  Lawson  alludes,  is 
probably  due  to  the  painter's  having  been  more  influ- 
enced by  Reynolds  than  by  his  subject. 

The  EPITAPH  composed  by  Hastings  for  Cleveland's 
monument  is  thus  given  by  Lord  Valentia: — 

"  &o  tfje  JHemorg  of 
AUGUSTUS   CLEVELAND,  ESQ., 

LATE   COLLECTOR   OF  THE   DISTRICTS    OF   BHAUGULPORE   AND 

RAJAMAHALL, 

WHO,      WITHOUT      BLOODSHED      OR      THE      TERROR      OF      AUTHORITY, 
EMPLOYING   ONLY   THE    MEANS   OF   CONCILIATION,    CONFIDENCE 

AND   BENEVOLENCE, 

ATTEMPTED   AND   ACCOMPLISHED 

THE    ENTIRE   SUBMISSION  OF   THE    LAWLESS   AND  SAVAGE  INHABITANTS 

OF   THE    JUNGLETERRY    OF   RAJAMAHALL, 
WHO   HAD    LONG   INFESTED   THE   NEIGHBOURING   LANDS   BY   THEIR 

PREDATORY   INCURSIONS, 

INSPIRED   THEM  WITH   A   TASTE    FOR   THE   ARTS  OF  CIVILISED    LIFE, 
AND   ATTACHED   THEM   TO   THE    BRITISH   GOVERNMENT,    BY   A 

CONQUEST   OVER   THEIR   MINDS ; 
THE   MOST   PERMANENT    AS   THE    MOST    RATIONAL   OF   DOMINION. 

THE    GOVERNOR-GENERAL   AND   COUNCIL   OF   BENGAL, 
IN    HONOUR   OF   HIS   CHARACTER,    AND    FOR   AN    EXAMPLE    TO   OTHERS, 

HAVE   ORDERED   THIS   MONUMENT   TO   BE    ERECTED. 

HE   DEPARTED   THIS    LIFE    ON   THE    I5TH    DAY   OF   JANUARY,    1784, 

AGED    29." 


SERIES    III. — LETTER    IX.  249 

Mr  Bradley  Birt  says  that  the  monument,  which  was 
erected  in  front  of  Cleveland's  house,  was  sent  out  by 
the  Court  of  Directors  from  home,  but  this  is  an  error.1 
Bishop  Heber  writes,  "  Mr  Cleveland's  monument  is  in 
the  form  of  a  Hindoo  mut,  in  a  pretty  situation,  on  a 
green  hill."  This  seems,  however,  to  relate  to  a  second 
cenotaph  raised,  as  he  says,  "  at  the  joint  expense  of  the 
highland  chiefs  and  lowland  zemindars,"  which  Mr 
Bradley  Birt  describes  as  a  Hindu  pyramid,  surrounded 
by  a  wide  arched  gallery,  in  which  a  lamp,  attended  by 
a  priest,  is  still  kept  burning.  It  stands  at  the  other 
end  of  the  station. 

SIR  WILLIAM  JONES,  the  famous  lawyer  and  linguist, 
is  first  mentioned  in  a  letter  of  Laurence  Sulivan's  in 
1778,  which  states  that  there  is  some  thought  of  sending 
out  Mr  Jones  to  replace  Mr  Justice  Lemaistre.  On 
Impey's  recall,  however,  he  was  knighted  and  sent  out 
as  Chief  Justice,  arriving  in  Calcutta  some  time  before 
his  predecessor  was  able  to  depart.  His  new  environ- 
ment suited  him  exactly,  as  affording  a  wide  field  for 
the  prosecution  of  his  Oriental  studies,  and  Hastings 
and  he  found  many  interests  in  common.  Together  they 
founded  the  Bengal  Asiatick  Society,  and  their  letters 
show  the  zest  with  which  they  exchanged  "  finds  "  in  the 
shape  of  specimens  of  Eastern  literature.  Sir  William 
regarded  the  natives  with  the  reverential  interest  of  the 
newcomer,  and  Thompson  mentions  a  conversation  in 
which  he  "  mounted  his  Hindoo  Pegasus,"  and  expressed 
his  belief  that  the  Hindus  were  the  Gymnosophists  of  the 
ancients,  and  needed  only  mild  laws,  not  harsh  measures, 
to  restrain  their  naturally  philosophical  instincts.  He 
suffered  much  from  the  climate,  and  when  Hastings  saw 
him  at  Bhagalpur  in  December  of  this  year,  he  was  a 
perfect  skeleton.  Two  months  on  the  river,  including  a 
trip  to  Gya  with  Lady  Jones,  who  was  also  much  indis- 
posed, restored  him  to  comparative  health,  though  his 

1  See  infra,  p.  309. 


25°  LETTERS   OF  WARREN   HASTINGS. 

wrists  and  ankles  were  still  weak,  but  "  Where,  say  the 
Persians,  is  a  rose  without  a  thorn  ?  "  he  asks  resignedly. 
Returning  to  Calcutta,  he  records  that  he  found  he  could 
preserve  his  health  only  by  "  a  resolution  of  never  seeing 
the  sun  or  suffering  him  to  see  me." 

MR  CORNEILLE,  the  Governor  of  St  Helena,  was  an 
old  acquaintance  of  Hastings.  In  1777,  when  he  was 
supposed  to  be  on  the  point  of  leaving  India,  the  Hon. 
John  Stewart,  in  a  letter  full  of  friendly  chaff,  advises 
him  to  recommend  himself  to  Mrs  Corneille  by  mention- 
ing his  (Stewart's)  name,  rather  than  trust  to  his  own 
youth  and  beauty  merely.  Immediately  on  Hastings' 
return  home  in  1785,  he  writes  to  desire  Thompson  to 
send  a  good  horse  to  Mr  Corneille,  and  do  any  other 
commission  he  might  ask  him ;  "  He  is  a  worthy  and 
most  hospitable  man." 

Hastings'  hope  that  the  preceding  letter  would  reach 
London  before  his  wife's  arrival  there  was  justified,  as 
will  be  seen  by  her  endorsement  on  it. 

CALCUTTA,  nth  February  1784. 

(Endorsed,  "  Received  September  8th.") 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN, — I  have  had  a  trifling  Indis- 
position, and  inform  you  of  it,  lest  you  should  hear  of 
it  through  some  other  Channel,  magnified  to  a  Matter 
of  serious  Alarm.  I  awoke  with  it  on  the  morning  of 
the  gth.  The  Glands  of  my  Neck  were  swelled,  and  I 
had  a  slight  Languor  with  a  feverish  Heat,  which  did 
not  hinder  me  from  breakfasting  in  public,  and  attending 
to  Business  till  One,  when  I  went  to  bed,  and  have 
nursed  myself  since  very  successfully.  I  am  now  much 
better,  though  not  quite  well.  My  greatest  Suffering 
arose  from  the  Contemplation  of  the  Picture  before  me 
as  I  lay  on  my  Bed,  and  the  Reflection  of  the  vast 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   IX.  25! 

Distance  which  separated  me  from  my  Marian.  She 
knew  not  whether  I  was  sick  or  well ;  nor,  if  my  Com- 
plaint encreased,  could  her  Fortitude  be  put  to  another 
severe  Trial,  or  I  awake  to  the  Sight  of  her  blessed  Spirit 
sent  to  relieve  me.  In  these  Reflexions  I  more  than  once 
turned  my  Face  towards  the  Spot  where  the  beautiful 
Apparition  formerly  stood  before  me  when  I  was  in  a  State 
which  but  for  so  powerful  an  Aid  might,  and  I  believe, 
would  have  proved  fatal  to  me.— But  my  Eyes  met  not 
their  desired  Object,  and  my  Imagination  but  faintly 
represented  it. — My  Marian  was  near  3000  Miles  distant 
from  me,  and  possibly  stood  more  in  Need  of  my  Presence 
than  I  of  hers.  I  will  not  repeat  all  the  Workings  of 
my  Mind ;  but  will  only  tell  you  that  in  every  Situation 
of  my  Life  I  am  continually  reminded  of  my  Loss.  I 
feel  the  want  of  you,  and  am  in  Fear  for  what  may  befall, 
or  what  may  have  actually  befallen  you. 

Did  I  tell  you  in  my  last  that  the  Board  had  agreed  to 
erect  a  Monument  at  Baugulpoor  in  Honour  of  poor 
Clevland's  Memory  ?  I  enclose  what  I  propose  for  his 
Epitaph,  if  approved  by  my  Colleagues,  to  whom  I  have 
not  yet  shewn  it. 

Three  Days  ago  I  wrote  a  short  Letter  to  you,  No.  8, 
by  the  Neptune  Sloop,  destined  to  Bussora,  where  she 
was  (to)  land  a  public  Packet,  in  which  your  Letter  is 
enclosed,  directed  to  Major  Scott,  to  be  forwarded  by 
Land  to  London.  I  have  Hopes  that  it  will  arrive  in 
England  before  you.  It  will  give  you  little  Information, 
but  I  write  by  every  Opportunity  lest  any  of  my  Letters 
should  fail,  or  be  late  in  their  Arrival. 

I  send  you  a  Scrap  of  Persian  Poetry1  written  by  a 

The  scrap  is  not  in  the  MS. 


252  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

living  Friend  of  Sir  William  Jones.  I  will  be  a  good 
Lesson  for  you  and  Mrs  Motte,  and  it  has  a  few  Touches 
of  good  Poetry ;  but  not  One  of  Nature.  I  have  received 
many  of  your  Letters,  my  Marian,  but  never  mistook  one 
of  them  for  a  Bottle  of  Rose  Water,  nor  the  Cossid  who 
brought  it  for  a  Fawn  of  Khoten. 

I  have  kept  my  Letter  unfinished  to  the  latest  Period 
prescribed  by  Mr  Doveton,  that  you  may  know  the  latest 
State  of  my  Health,  and  have  the  Satisfaction  to  assure 
you  that  I  have  at  this  Instant,  a  quarter  past  One,  no 
sensible  Ailing  but  a  little,  and  very  little,  Weakness. 

It  has  just  occurred  to  me  to  request  that  you  will 
write  to  me  by  the  first  St  Helena  Ship,  and  by  every 
Ship  bound  to  that  Island,  if  more  than  one  should  go, 
directing  your  Letters  to  the  Care  of  Mr  Corneille,  the 
Governor,  to  be  kept  till  my  Arrival.  You  may  reckon 
to  the  End  of  March  1785  for  the  Chance  of  my  being 
there  to  receive  them. — Major  Scott  will  let  you  know 
when  the  Ship  sails. — It  will  be  a  Means  of  giving  me 
the  latest  Information  concerning  you,  and  I  shall 
require  it. 

Adieu,  my  beloved. 

Your  W.  H. 

LETTER   X. 

Hastings  did  not  succeed  in  bringing  about  his  journey 
without  something  of  a  coup  de  main.  There  is  among 
his  papers  a  letter  dated  February  8th,  apparently  the 
copy  of  one  addressed  to  Wheler,  which  mentions  that 
in  expectation  of  the  arrival  of  the  Nawab- Vizier's  letter, 
and  in  order  to  save  time,  he  encloses  drafts  of  the 
credentials  he  desires,  which  are  similar  to  those  of 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  X.  253 

1781,  but  more  limited  in  character.  As  soon  as  they 
were  signed,  he  started.  The  house  at  Suksagar  appears 
to  have  been  handed  over  by  this  time  to  the  faithful 
CROFTES,  who  hurries  thither  to  welcome  him. 

The  NAWAB  -  VIZIER'S  delight  in  the  prospect  of 
Hastings'  visit  was  largely  due  to  the  fact  that,  as  a 
preliminary,  the  tyrant  Bristow  was  withdrawn.  Asaf-u- 
Daula  had  given,  as  a  letter  from  Wheler  puts  it,  the 
Teeps  (notes  of  hand)  of  the  Lucknow  merchants  l  as 
security  for  the  money  owing  from  him,  and  he  wel- 
comed the  letters  handed  him  by  Palmer  with  tears 
of  joy. 

ALMASS  ALLY  CAWN  was  one  of  Asaf-u-Daula's  amils, 
or  collectors  of  the  revenue.  Bristow  and  he  were  con- 
tinually at  feud,  owing  to  Bristow's  interference  in  his 
district,  and  when  Almas  AH  Khan  resigned  his  post  as 
a  protest  and  retired  to  his  estate,  Bristow  declared  that 
he  intended  to  rebel,  and  attack  the  Company's  artillery 
and  stores  at  Cawnpore.  Palmer,  who  reports  this  in 
December,  1783,  mentions  also  that  troops  are  being 
concentrated  to  attack  him.  The  danger  of  conflict  was 
happily  averted,  as  described  by  Hastings,  and  on  his 
departure  from  Lucknow  he  had  the  satisfaction  of 
seeing  Almas  Ali  Khan  and  the  other  amils  established 
in  their  posts  for  a  period  of  five  years.  Their  address 
to  Asaf-u-Daula  on  the  new  settlement  expresses  the 
highest  contentment  with  it,  and  with  "  the  bounty  of 
the  Governor  -  General,"  but  contains  a  clear  warning 
that  should  "the  English  gentlemen"  again  usurp  their 
authority  they  will  retire  into  private  life.2 

LARKINS  succeeded  Croftes  as  Accountant  -  General. 
Before  this,  as  an  official  in  the  department,  he  had 
charge  of  the  moneys  received  by  Hastings  for  the 
Company — such  as  gifts  from  native  princes — and  was 
accordingly  called  at  the  Trial  to  give  evidence  on  the 

1  "  Bankers  of  known  credit  and  responsibility,"  State  Papers. 

2  State  Papers. 


254  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

charges  relating  to  presents.  A  lack  of  method  in  keep- 
ing his  accounts  enabled  the  Managers  to  draw  con- 
clusions unfavourable  to  Hastings,1  and  they  proceeded 
to  heighten  the  colour  by  pointing  out  that  Larkins 
was  "  a  man  of  acknowledged  integrity,  high  in  the 
confidence  of  Lord  Cornwallis,  and  in  great  esteem  with 
the  Directors  and  the  Board  of  Controul."  Lord  Thurlow 
had  little  difficulty  in  showing  that  as  "  a  man  of  busi- 
ness, personally  attached  to  Mr  Hastings,"  Larkins 
would  have  acted  very  differently  had  he  believed  that 
the  sums  which  formed  the  subject  of  the  charge  were 
regarded  by  Hastings  as  his  property,  and  the  Managers 
were  thus  hoist  with  their  own  petard.  Larkins,  who 
was  devoted  to  Hastings,  had  the  charge  of  his  money 
matters  in  India  after  his  departure.  Further  particulars 
about  him  will  be  found  in  the  notes  to  Letter  XXVII. 
and  in  the  Concluding  Chapter. 

Off  NYA  SERAI.     \tyh  February,  1784. 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN, — My  last  Letter  was  sent  to 
Major  Davy  on  the  nth,  and  received  by  him. — My 
Sickness,  though  in  no  Stage  of  it  portending  any 
Thing  like  Danger,  has  proved  of  a  very  obstinate 
Kind.  Its  worst  Symptoms  were  a  Want  of  Appetite, 
and  a  deadly  Languor.  I  was  advised  to  leave  Calcutta, 
where  I  was  worried  without  Mercy,  and  where  my 
House  has  ever  worn  the  Gloom  of  Sickness  since  you 
left  it ;  and  accordingly,  the  Nabob's  Letter  of  Invitation 
arriving  on  the  I4th  and  my  Credentials  with  the  other 
necessary  Papers  signed  on  the  I7th  in  Council,  where 
I  met  my  Colleagues  for  the  last  Time,  I  quitted  my 
House  and  the  Shore  that  Evening,  and  am  now  in  my 
Way  to  Sooksaugur,  which  I  expect  to  reach  by  Noon. 

1  Debates. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  X.  255 

I  would  not  write  yesterday,  because  I  was  more 
oppressed  with  Languor  during  the  greater  part  of 
the  Day  than  the  Day  before,  but  my  Dinner  though 
taken  "upon  Principle,"  relieved  me,  and  I  am  now  so 
much  better  that  I  am  almost  well,  and  breathe  an  Air 
so  fresh  and  pure  as  to  promise  a  speedy  and  complete 
Cure. — Poor  Croftes,  with  the  Gout  in  his  Head,  is  in 
Defiance  of  it,  and  of  my  Entreaties,  hurrying  after  me, 
to  make  my  Reception  at  his  House  most  welcome  and 
salutary,  and  I  shall  stay  there  till  (Dr)  Francis  says  that 
I  may  proceed  with  perfect  Safety.  I  am  now  in  my 
Pinnace,  and  have  just  passed  your  Budgerow  lying  in 
Nya  Serai  Creek,  whence  it  will  follow  me  to  Sooksaugur, 
and  I  shall  proceed  in  it  to  Nuddeea,  which  will  add  a 
Day  or  Two  of  Repose  to  the  Time  requisite  for  my 
complete  Recovery;  and  from  Nuddeea  I  shall  go  oa 
Post  to  Afzal  Baug.  —  There  I  shall  stay  but  a  few 
Hours,  for  Moorshedabad  is  worse  as  a  baiting  Place 
than  Calcutta.  I  suppose  that  I  shall  leave  Sook- 
saugur the  22nd. 

Scott  will  shew  you  what  has  passed  since  my  last. 
The  Sum  is  that  Mr  Wheler  has  hesitatingly  acquiesced 
in  my  going,  and  Mr  Stables,  as  expected,  opposed  it, 
and  that  the  Nabob,  all  Gratitude  for  his  Deliverance, 
has  written  that  besides  the  Securities  which  were  de- 
manded and  given,  he  for  my  personal  Satisfaction 
and  Security  pledges  to  me  his  whole  Country  for  the 
Performance  of  his  Engagements,  and  swears  to  act 
implicitly  as  I  shall  direct  him. 

Do  you  tell  Scott  that  Almass  Ally  Cawn,  whom  Mr 
Bristow  has  represented  as  a  Traitor,  and  to  have  formed 
the  Design  of  attacking  the  Party  left  at  Cawnpoor  ta 


256  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

guard  the  Artillery  Park,  on  the  Relief  of  that  Station, 
having  received  a  Letter  of  Encouragement  from  me, 
instantly  repaired  to  Lucnow,  where  he  now  is  as  quiet 
and  submissive  as  any  Man  of  the  Nabob's  Dominions. 
Bristow  has  left  Lucnow. 

If  I  find  the  Weather  hot,  or  the  Fatigue  of  travelling 
Post  too  great,  I  intend  to  lie  by  during  the  Heat  of  the 
Day,  and  Dr  Balfour  will  travel  with  me  for  my  further 
Security.  You  will  see  by  all  that  I  have  written  how 
careful  I  am  of  the  Safety  of  your  Husband.  I  am 
resolved  that  he  shall  see  you  again.  The  Night  before 
last  you  appeared  before  me,  and  it  is  strange,  for  the 
first  Time,  in  my  Sleep.  You  had  returned  to  me  from 
Sea,  and  looked  pale  and  dejected  with  Sickness. — I  feel, 
my  Marian,  a  Degree  of  Pain  in  the  Thought  that  I  am 
now  moving  daily  from  you ;  and  what  a  Length  of 
Time,  how  filled  with  Events  that  will  add  to  the 
Measure  of  it,  is  yet  to  pass  before  I  can  even  begin 
to  count  off  the  Days  which  remain  of  our  Separation ! 
O  God  preserve  us  both  in  Life  and  Health  till  the 
Close  of  that  Period  arrives,  and  give  us  Years  of 
Happiness  in  Compensation  for  those  which  we  have 
suffered  in  Absence  from  each  other !  —  You  left  the 
wrong  Copy  of  your  Will  which  was  endorsed  "  to 
be  taken  with  you."  I  have  given  it  to  Croftes,  and 
my  own  I  have  left  with  Larkins. 

I  am  compelled  to  leave  off,  as  I  may  be  else  too  late 
for  the  Ship.  I  never  cease  to  think  of  you,  nor  my 
Soul  to  bless  you :  And  may  God  bless  you,  my  beloved. 
Amen. 

Your  WARREN  HASTINGS. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XI.  257 

LETTER   XI. 

Hastings  had  determined,  as  a  letter  in  the  Corres- 
dence  tells  us,  to  remain  at  Suksagar  until  he  was  quite 
recovered,  but  the  good  air  and  pleasant  surroundings 
seem  to  have  made  him  well  almost  immediately.  The 
journey  by  budgerow  was  only  a  short  one,  and  at 
Murshidabad  the  weary  stream  of  suitors  would  torment 
him  again.  TRACKING  was  towing,  the  budgerow  being 
dragged  along  by  her  crew  from  the  bank,  as  is  now  done 
on  Chinese  rivers. 

NUDDEEA.     2yd  February,  1784. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  wrote  to  you  on  the  igth 
from  Sooksaugur  and  dispatched  my  Letter  to  go  by 
the  Fox.  I  began  to  mend  on  that  Day,  and  the  next 
I  was  perfectly  well,  and  have  continued  so,  encreasing 
in  Strength  to  this  Day.  Thus  far  I  have  quietly  tracked 
in  my  Budgerow ;  and  this  Evening  at  5  I  shall  land,  and 
proceed  without  stopping  to  Afzel  Baug,  where  I  hope  to 
breakfast  by  Seven  to  morrow  Morning.  Dr  Balfour  is 
with  me. 

I  have  found  out  a  Method  to  see  and  converse  with 
you  whenever  I  sleep,  if  I  chuse  it,  and  I  have  had  your 
Company  every  Night  for  these  4  Nights  past ;  but  you 
do  not  always  wear  the  Looks  of  Kindness  which  I  am 
sure  you  always  will  wear  if  I  ever  again  see  you  in 
Substance.  O  my  Marian,  Words  cannot  express  the 
Sense  of  what  I  have  lost  since  you  left  me,  and  in  my 
Soul  I  believe  that  it  is  this  alone  which  has  sickened 
me.  I  love  you  infinitely  more  than  my  Life,  and  think 
of  you  unceasingly.  Adieu.  I  will  write  again  from 
the  City.  W.  H. 

R 


258  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 


LETTER  XII. 

The  INTELLIGENCE  which  caused  its  recipient  so  much 
perturbation  is  shown  by  the  Correspondence  to  have 
been  a  rumour,  alleged  to  have  come  from  Bombay, 
and  forwarded,  so  Wheler  and  Stables  say,  by  a  gentle- 
man of  respectable  character  at  Fort  St  George,  to  the 
effect  that  Scott  had  handed  in  Hastings'  resignation 
of  his  post  (as  Macleane  had  done  in  1776),  that  Lord 
Macartney  was  to  become  Governor -General,  Francis 
second  Member  of  Council,  with  the  right  of  succeeding 
to  the  Chair,  and  General  Richard  Smith  Commander- 
in-Chief.  On  February  27th  Wheler  and  Stables  write 
to  contradict  it. 

LORD  MACARTNEY  (George,  afterwards  Earl  Macartney), 
was  a  man  of  varied  experience  when  he  came  to  India. 
He  had  acted  as  envoy  to  Russia,  Chief  Secretary  for 
Ireland,  and  Governor  of  Grenada,  and  when  that  island 
was  captured  by  the  French,  he  was  taken  to  Paris  as 
a  prisoner  of  war.  When  he  was  made  Governor  of 
Madras,  Hastings'  friends,  especially  Mr  Pechell  and 
General  Caillaud,  considered  the  appointment  an  ex- 
cellent one.  They  "assured  me,"  says  Hastings,  "that 
you  desired  my  confidence  and  advice ;  that  you  sought 
to  make  the  line  of  my  conduct  the  rule  of  your  own ; 
and  they  enjoined  me  to  begin  a  free  and  unreserved 
communication  of  sentiments  with  you."1  The  result 
was  disastrous.  "I  set  aside  all  reserve,  and  began  a 
correspondence  with  his  Lordship  on  a  footing  of  un- 
bounded confidence.  His  Lordship  confirmed  me  in 
this  disposition,  and  invited  me  to  continue  in  it.  Read 
in  the  enclosures  the  fruits  of  my  candour,  and  the 
evidence  of  his  treachery  and  dishonour.  ...  At  this 
very  time,  when  he  professed  himself  my  friend,  and 
solicited  my  advice,  he  made  use  of  my  letters  as  criminal 

1  To  Lord  Macartney,  Gleig,  III.  61. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XII.  259 

charges  against  me.  What  a  man !  " 1  Hastings  was 
spared  the  mortification  of  seeing  Lord  Macartney  his 
successor,  though  it  appears  that  the  offer  was  actually 
made  him,  and  he  visited  Bengal  during  McPherson's 
brief  tenure  of  the  Chair.  He  headed  the  first  British 
Mission  to  China  in  1793,  and  was  afterwards  employed 
in  various  diplomatic  posts.  The  last  days  of  his  public 
life  were  spent  as  Governor  of  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope. 

The  NABOB  and  the  BEGUMS  are  of  course  Mubarak-u- 
Daula,  titular  Nawab  of  Bengal,  his  mother  Babu  Begum, 
and  his  stepmother,  Munny  Begum.  Babu  Begum  is 
described  by  the  author  of  the  Se'ir-ul-Mutaqharin  as 
affable  and  modest,  and  not  uplifted  by  her  elevation  in 
rank.  Lord  Valentia  found  her  very  talkative,  and  full 
of  complaints  as  to  the  decayed  condition  of  her  family, 
and  the  treatment  it  had  received  from  the  English. 
The  Nawab  himself  was  weak  and  extravagant,  and  in 
1781  Hastings  stopped  at  Murshidabad  on  his  way  to 
Benares  in  order  to  enquire  into  the  state  of  his  finances 
with  the  aid  of  Sir  John  D'Oyly,  the  Resident.  After 
cautioning  the  young  ruler  to  study  frugality  and  economy 
in  the  regulation  of  his  expenses,  he  arranged  a  plan  for 
his  relief,  and  drew  up  an  excellent  paper  of  advice  for 
him,2  dealing  with  his  income  and  debts,  expenditure 
in  presents,  the  necessary  repairs  to  his  palace  and  the 
treatment  of  his  servants — which  seems  to  have  been 
treated  much  as  good  advice  generally  is. 

GENERAL  RICHARD  SMITH  was  the  typical  returned 
Anglo-Indian  of  his  day.  According  to  Grand,  he  was 
the  original  of  Sir  Matthew  Mite  in  Foote's  play  of 
"  The  Nabob,"  whose  character  Macaulay  sums  up  thus  : 
— "An  Anglo-Indian  chief,  dissolute,  ungenerous,  and 
tyrannical,  ashamed  of  the  humbler  friends  of  his  youth, 
hating  the  aristocracy,  yet  childishly  eager  to  be  num- 
bered among  them,  squandering  his  wealth  on  pandars 
and  flatterers,  tricking  out  his  chairmen  with  the  most 

1  To  Laurence  Sulivan,  ibid.,  59.  2  State  Papers. 


260         LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

costly  hothouse  flowers,  and  astounding  the  ignorant 
with  jargon  about  rupees,  lacs  and  jaghires."1  He  is 
rarely  mentioned  without  some  expression  of  special 
horror,  yet  no  definite  tale  of  outrage  in  India  is 
associated  with  his  name.  He  was  returning  to  Bengal 
in  1769,  at  the  same  time  as  Dr  Hancock,  who  begs  his 
wife  to  call  and  congratulate  Mrs  Smith  on  her  husband's 
safe  arrival.  "The  Omission  might  be  of  Consequence 
to  me,  as  he  will  be  a  man  of  great  Power.  You  per- 
fectly know  his  Vanity  and  my  Necessities."  Shuja-u- 
Daula  mentions,  in  a  letter  included  in  the  State  Papers, 
that  a  friendship  subsisted  between  them  in  1773,  which 
makes  it  probable  that  Oudh  was  the  scene  of  his  ex- 
ploits. Possessed  of  power,  as  described  by  Hancock, 
at  a  time  when  the  morality  of  the  English  in  India 
was  at  its  lowest  ebb,  and  their  rapacity  at  the  flood, 
he  contrived  to  acquire  an  immense  fortune,  and  returned 
to  England  to  enjoy  it.  Grand  remarks  that  though 
his  origin  was  low,  his  mind  and  talents  were  powerful, 
but  his  air  of  arrogant  superiority  excited  ridicule.  He 
entered  into  an  arrangement  with  Sir  Thomas  Rumbold 
and  Sir  Francis  Sykes  for  the  systematic  purchase  of 
seats  in  Parliament  and  places  under  government,  but 
the  bribery  involved  brought  them  into  trouble,  and 
Sykes  was  the  only  one  who  secured  any  solid  advantage. 
Smith  is  mentioned  in  the  Rolliad  as  one  of  the  mem- 
bers of  the  "  Bengal  Squad  "  at  St  James's,  but  his  desire 
to  return  to  India  seems  to  show  that  his  fortune  had 
been  impaired  by  his  lavish  expenditure.  It  has  already 
been  noticed  that  he  took  the  lead  in  the  Parliamentary 
proceedings  for  censuring  Hastings  and  Impey.  His 
close  connection  with  Francis,  the  political  purist, 
throws  an  ironical  side-light  upon  the  character  of  the 
latter. 

Which  of  Mrs  Hastings'  many  GOD -DAUGHTERS  is 
here  intended  can  only  be  conjectured.  Dr  Busteed 
suggests  almost  the  only  identification  of  which  it  can 

1  Essay  on  Lord  Clive. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XII.  26l 

be  confidently  said  that  it  is  out  of  the  question — Marian 
Impey,  who  had  sailed  for  home  with  her  parents  nearly 
three  months  before.  The  child  may  have  been  Marian 
Brisco,  or  possibly  Marian  Greer,  who  was  afterwards  to 
marry  Charles  D'Oyly. 

(In  the  MS.  this  letter  is  wrongly  inserted  after  the  next.) 

AFZOOLBAUG.  2$th  February.  1784. 
(Endorsed,  "  Received  6  September.") 
MY  DEAR  MARIAN, — I  landed  at  Nuddeea  at  5  yes- 
terday Evening,  and  arrived  here  between  6  and  7 
this  Morning,  without  suffering  either  Fatigue  or  any 
Symptom  of  ill  Health. — Yet  I  had  Cause,  if  my  Mind 
was  susceptible  of  Agitation  from  sudden  Provocations. 
While  I  was  preparing  to  land  I  received  a  Parcel  of 
Letters,  which  I  took  with  me  into  my  Palekeen,1  and 
the  first  Subject  of  Amusement  which  they  presented 
me  was  a  private  Letter  from  Messrs.  Wheler  and 
Stables  communicating  the  enclosed  Intelligence.  This 
was  a  fine  Encouragement  on  the  Commencement  of 
my  Journey  to  prosecute  it  to  the  Length  of  800  Miles. — 
It  occupied  my  Thoughts  during  the  greatest  Part  of 
the  Night,  but  (thank  God)  without  spoiling  my  Appetite 
for  Breakfast.  On  a  full  Examination  of  it  I  do  believe 
it  to  be  a  Forgery,  and  if  it  is  one,  it  was  aimed  at  my 
present  Commission,  though  I  know  not  how  such  a 
design  could  have  originated,  as  this  certainly  did,  at 
Madrass.  It  is  not  possible  for  the  Parliament  to  have 
passed  such  important  and  unpopular  Acts  so  early  as 
September,  for  they  were  not  in  Effect  assembled. 
Neither  is  it  possible  for  the  News  of  it  to  have  passed 
from  England  to  Bombay,  making  a  Zigzag  to  St 

1  This  is  always  Hastings'  spelling. 


262  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Helena,  in  3  Months  and  a  half. — As  impossible  is  it 
that  they  should  have  got  it  at  Tranquebar  from  Bombay 
in  22  Days.  Besides  what  Budget  have  I  given  to 
Major  Scott  ?  I  believe  it  to  have  been  fabricated  in 
the  Shop  of  Lord  Macartney.  —  I  mention  these  Con- 
clusions, not  for  your  Conviction,  for  you  will  know  the 
Truth  with  Certainty  long  before  this  can  reach  you ; 
but  to  shew  you  that  it  is  on  good  Grounds  that  I 
persevere,  in  spite  of  the  strong  Inducement  which  such 
a  Fact,  if  it  were  One,  would  be  to  me  to  run  back 
again  to  be  in  Time  to  take  my  Passage  on  the  last 
Ship  of  the  Season. 

I  shall  prosecute  my  Journey  this  Evening,  taking  the 
Nabob  and  Begums  on  my  Way,  and  I  will  rest  a  Day, 
perhaps  two,  at  Baugulpoor,  in  the  Certainty  of  receiv- 
ing Letters  there  confirming  the  News,  if  it  is  true,  or 
establishing  what  is  true  of  it,  if  it  has  any  Foundation. 

I  would  give  One  half  of  my  Life  for  the  Certainty 
of  beginning  the  other  Half  with  you  to  morrow.  But 
I  would  not  wish  even  for  the  immediate  Possession 
even  of  such  a  Blessing  at  the  Purchase  of  such  a 
Mortification  as  to  be  thrust  out  of  my  Seat  by  such 
Fellows  as  Lord  Macartney,  Mr  Francis  and  General 
Richard  Smith. 

I  am  amazingly  well,  but  I  have  tired  myself  with 
talking  and  writing. 

Adieu  again,  my  beloved. 

Your  W.  HASTINGS. 

Compliments  to  dear  Bibby  Motte.  I  wish  I  had 
gone  with  you.  Your  Goddaughter  is  a  very  fine, 
laughing  girl. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XIII.  263 

LETTER    XIII. 
(Wrongly  numbered  XII.  in  the  MS.) 

This  letter  and  the  preceding  are  both  numbered  XII., 
and  in  the  MS.  this  one  is  placed  first,  though  both  the 
date  and  the  place  of  writing  show  that  it  comes  later. 

MOHAMMED  RIZZA  CAWN  (Riza  Khan),  was  the  Mo- 
hammedan noble  appointed  by  the  Calcutta  Council  as 
Naib  -  Subah,  or  deputy  under  the  Nawab  -  Nazim  of 
Bengal,  then  a  minor,  before  Clive's  second  term  of 
office  in  India.  When  Hastings  arrived  at  Calcutta  as 
Governor  in  1772,  almost  the  first  news  he  received  was 
the  notice  that  the  Court  of  Directors  had  determined 
to  prosecute  Mohammed  Riza  Khan  and  Rajah  Shitab 
Rai,  the  Naib-Subah  of  Behar,  on  charges  of  embezzle- 
ment and  malversation.  The  instigator  of  these  pro- 
ceedings was  the  infamous  Nandkumar,  but  he  did  not 
reap  the  reward  he  expected,  the  succession  to  Mohammed 
Riza  Khan's  office,  for  Hastings,  knowing  his  character 
well,  appointed  Munny  Begum  as  regent.1  The  trial 
of  the  two  officials  was  lengthy,  and  Shitab  Rai,  though 
honourably  acquitted,  had  been  so  much  injured  in  health 
by  the  climate  of  Calcutta  that  he  returned  to  Behar 
only  to  die.  His  companion  in  misery  was  more  fortu- 
nate, for  all  the  malice  of  Nandkumar  could  not  succeed 
in  proving  his  accusations,  and  after  Mohammed  Riza 
Khan's  acquittal,  he  was  restored  to  the  office  of  Naib- 
Subah  by  the  Majority,  who  thought  they  were  thus 
inflicting  a  blow  on  Hastings.  It  is  one  of  the  most 
extraordinary  features  of  a  discreditable  business  that 
Hasting  should  be  considered  responsible  for  a  prosecu- 
tion which  he  set  on  foot  only  in  obedience  to  stringent 
orders  issued  by  the  Directors  a  year  before  he  arrived 
in  Bengal,  and  that  although  his  earnest  determination 
to  see  fair  play  resulted  in  the  acquittal  of  the  accused, 

1  See  supra>  p.  228. 


264  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

yet  Shitab  Rai's  death  should  be  laid  at  his  door.  The 
author  of  the  Se'ir-ul-Mutaqharin,  who  is  strongly  pre- 
judiced against  Mohammed  Riza  Khan,  declares  that  at 
first  he  attached  himself  to  Munny  Begum,  but  that 
finding  her  too  strong-minded  to  be  a  convenient  tool, 
he  took  the  side  of  her  rival,  Babu  Begum.  Munny 
Begum  showed  no  vindictiveness,  and  petitioned  for  his 
release  when  he  was  arrested,  but  when  the  question 
of  his  reappointment  arose,  she  wrote  to  Hastings  to 
beg  him  not  to  allow  it. 

CAPTAIN  SCOTT  was  Jonathan,  brother  of  Major 
Scott.  He  succeeded  Major  Davy  as  Persian  secretary, 
on  Palmer's  recommendation,  and  before  starting  on 
this  journey  Hastings  had  written  to  John  Scott,  "Your 
brother  Jonathan  shall  be  one  of  my  few  and  chosen 
companions,  and  will  be  of  great  use  to  me."  x  Jonathan 
Scott  went  home  with  Hastings  in  1785,  leaving  the 
army  on  account  of  his  health,  and  devoted  himself  to 
producing  translations  from  the  Oriental  languages.  In 
1802  Thompson  writes,  "  I  dined  with  Jonathan  Scott 
at  Shrewsbury  —  a  Man  whom  I  have  always  loved  for 
the  Singleness  of  his  Heart  and  the  Simplicity  of  his 
Manners.  His  Business  seems  to  be  the  Education  of 
his  Daughter,  the  only  original  Work  with  which  his 
Labors  have  ever  presented  him.  .  .  .  There  is  not  a 
single  Soul  with  whom  he  can  communicate  on  the 
Subjects  which  have  so  long  employed  his  Thoughts." 
Dr  White,  the  Professor  of  Arabic  and  Hebrew  at  Oxford, 
whom  Thompson  visited  on  the  same  journey,  expressed 
his  wish  to  see  "  this  good  little  Man "  established  as 
Professor  of  Persian,  with  a  Mohammedan  assistant. 
At  length  he  obtained  a  post  at  Haileybury,  the  pre- 
paratory school  for  Hertford  College,  and  he  was 
afterwards  appointed  the  Company's  translator. 

THE  ARAB,  so  often  mentioned  in  company  with 
Soliman,  was  Hastings'  own  Arab  horse,  which  seems 

1  Gleig,  III.  149. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  XIII.  265 

to  have  had  no  particular  name.  He  brought  it  to 
England  with  him,  and  writes  to  Thompson  "  My  Arab 
arrived  in  excellent  condition,  and  is  wonderfully  ad- 
mired. I  ride  him  in  spite  of  his  beauty  and  long  tail, 
though  both  valid  objections  ;  for  this  is  a  land  of  ostenta- 
tion, and  therefore  every  body  detests  it  in  others."  l  In 
1805  he  writes  sadly,  "  My  poor  old  Arabian  died  at  6 
o'clock  yesterday.  I  had  only  fed  him  with  bread  for 
a  long  time." 

CAPTAIN  FRITH  had  evidently  been  at  one  time  in 
Hastings'  family.  He  writes  in  1785  of  "your  good, 
your  dear,  and  amiable  Mrs  Hastings,"  and  signs  him- 
self "  Your  truly  grateful  and  very  faithful  servant  —  I 
will  add  humble  friend."  He  was  left  behind  at  Luck- 
now  in  command  of  a  portion  of  the  Nawab- Vizier's 
forces.  In  1790  he  and  his  regiment — a  "  small  corps 
of  horse,  the  finest  ever  seen  in  the  British  service  " — 
escorted  Lord  Cornwallis  to  Madras  for  the  second 
campaign  against  Tipu  Sultan.  Charges  were  brought 
against  him,  in  which  it  was  alleged  that  his  men  had 
refused  to  face  the  enemy,  but  he  demanded  an  enquiry, 
and  was  justified  by  a  court  which  was  strongly  hostile 
to  him.  In  1795  he  took  the  lead,  with  Popham,  in  the 
agitation  of  the  Bengal  European  officers  for  the  redress 
of  their  grievances,  and  probably  suffered  for  this  breach 
of  discipline,  since  in  1807  his  son  writes  from  Agra  to 
say  that  he  has  died  in  very  poor  circumstances. 

For  the  OCCUPATION  of  Hastings'  journey,  see  Letter 
XIV. 

BAUGULPOOR.     28^  February,  1784. 

(Endorsed,  "  Received  the  6  September.") 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — My  last,  No.  XI.  (XII.),  was 

written  from  Afzoolbaug.     In  the  Evening  I  visited  the 

Nabob,  the  two  Begums  and  Mohammed  Rizza  Cawn, 

and  proceeded  on  my  journey ;  for  even  the  Hospitality 

1  Gleig,  III.  243. 


266  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

of  Afzoolbaug  afforded  no  Compensation  for  the  noisy 
Multitude  which  swarmed  about  it.  The  Dust  was  in- 
comparably thick,  and  involved  us  during  more  than  the 
first  Stage.  We  breakfasted  the  next  Morning  in  Tents 
most  comfortably  pitched  and  furnished  with  Tea  Appa- 
ratus by  the  Nabob  and  Soonder  Sing  at  Furrukhabad. 
We  proceeded  through  a  bad  sandy  Road,  a  strong  Wind 
and  burning  Sun  attending  us  a  Part  of  the  Way ;  dined 
at  Rajmahl,  went  on  in  the  Evening,  with  little  Rain  all 
Night ;  arrived  at  Cahlgong  the  next  Morning,  which 
was  the  26th. — We  were  promised  a  Breakfast  here,  but 
were  fortunately  through  some  Mistake  disappointed,  and 
meeting  with  Carriages  which  had  been  laid  for  the 
Purpose,  we  set  off  about  between  6  and  7  for  Baugul- 
poor.  I  could  not  pass  this  awful  Place  without  looking 
round  for  the  Rocks,  and  my  Eyes  continually  and  in- 
voluntarily turned  to  them,  with  some  Risque  of  over- 
setting the  Buggy,  till  they  were  out  of  Sight,  and  the 
Remembrance  of  them  accompanied  me,  though  I 
trembled  all  the  Way  with  the  Cold,  having  made  no 
Provision  but  for  the  Sun  which  did  not  appear. 

C.  (Captain)  Scott  was  my  Companion,  Major  Toone 
and  Dr  Balfour  following  in  Palekeens.  We  two  arrived 
about  9,  and  found  Mr  and  Mrs  Chapman  still  sitting  at 
Breakfast,  of  which  we  partook  most  heartily.  They 
appeared  and  were  happy  to  receive  us,  and  as  Captain 
Sands  who  has  the  Charge  of  my  Tents,  and  is  in  Effect 
my  Quarter  Master-general,  had  left  Baugulpoor  but  the 
Day  before,  and  Captain  Frith  only  the  2Oth  with  the 
Troop l  much  fatigued,  I  was  glad  to  allow  them  Time 
to  arrive  at  their  Destination,  and  have  a  Day's  Rest 

1  The  bodyguard. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XIII.  267 

there  before  we  overtook  them,  and  by  no  Means  dis- 
pleased to  obtain  3  Days  of  Repose  in  a  Place  where  I 
knew  I  was  most  heartily  welcome. — Our  Nights  have 
been  very  cold,  for  which  I  was  not  guarded,  the  Season 
in  Calcutta  having  been  far  advanced  when  I  left  it ; 
but  I  slept  sound  every  Night  but  the  first  after  my 
Landing  at  Nuddeea,  and  except  a  burnt  Face,  and  a 
small  Degree  of  Heat  occasioned  by  such  an  unusual 
Length  of  Fatigue,  and  which  left  me  after  the  first 
Night's  Rest,  I  have  suffered  no  Inconvenience  or  ill 
Effect  from  my  Journey.  I  am  on  the  contrary  as  well 
as  I  have  been  for  many  Years,  and  am  amazed  at  it ; 
for  when  I  landed  at  Sooksaugur  on  the  igth  my  Breath 
failed  me,  and  my  Knees  trembled  with  the  Walk  to 
Croftes's  Bungalo. — To  you  I  owe  a  great  Portion  of  this 
Change,  for  you,  my  Marian,  furnished  a  full  Occupation 
for  my  Mind  during  the  whole  Course  of  my  Journey, 
and  my  Palekeen  was  as  a  Bed  to  me,  while  I  enjoyed 
all  the  Benefits  of  fresh  Air  and  easy  Exercise,  without 
Labor  of  Body  or  Ennui  of  the  Mind.  —  This  Mystery 
shall  be  explained  to  you  when  I  arrive  at  my  Encamp- 
ment, if  I  shall  be  by  that  Time  prepared  to  unfold  it. 

I  forgot  to  tell  you  that  Munny  Begum  expressed  her 
Regret  of  your  Departure  in  Terms  which  seemed  too 
natural  to  have  proceeded  from  mere  Civility,  and  I  was 
pleased  to  hear  her  say  that  she  grieved  on  my  Account 
as  much  as  for  her  own  Loss  in  your  Departure  and  the 
Necessity  which  occasioned  it. 

Mr  and  Mrs  Chapman  appear  perfectly  contented  with 
each  other ;  she  particularly  so. 

Our  Camp  is  at  Moneea  on  the  Bank  of  the  Soan.  My 
Troop  will  hardly  reach  it  before  to  morrow,  and  I  expect 


268  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

to  be  there  on  the  Evening  of  the  ist — so  that  I  shall 
have  lost  no  Time. — Sulliman  and  the  Arab  are  with 
Captain  Frith,  who  has  lost  his  fine  Horse  Bob,  and  I 
hear  that  the  other  Horses  are  in  bad  Plight ;  not  mine, 
I  hope. 

Letters  daily  crowd  upon  me  with  Information  that  the 
Tranquebar  News  which  I  sent  you  from  Afzoolbaug  was 
the  Fabrication  of  some  idle  Brain  at  Madrass.  I  am 
persuaded  that  it  was  the  Fruit,  not  of  Idleness,  but  of 
a  base  Design,  and  it  was  well  timed,  for  I  received  it 
on  the  very  Instant  that  I  began  my  Journey. 

Will  you  read  all  this  trivial  Detail,  and  feel  an  In- 
terest in  it?  I  know,  my  delightful  Marian,  that  you 
will :  I  know  it  by  the  Pleasure  which  I  take  in  writing 
it.  One  Part  of  it  at  least  will  be  pleasing  to  you,  which 
is,  that  I  have  recovered  my  Health  and  Strength,  and 
both  to  a  Degree  in  which  I  have  not  possessed  either 
since  the  Month  of  July  1782. — Indeed  I  may  now  tell 
you  that  I  was  not  well  from  the  loth  of  last  Month  till 
the  Day  that  I  left  Sooksaugur,  which  was  the  2ist,  nor 
am  I  ashamed  of  my  Weakness  when  I  pronounce  my 
Indisposition  to  have  been  the  Effects  of  a  Mind  agitated 
beyond  its  Powers  of  Sufferance  by  the  severe  Loss  which 
I  sustained  in  your  Departure.  I  cannot  yet  bear  to 
think  where  or  in  what  State  you  now  are ;  but  O  God 
of  Goodness  bless  my  dear,  my  most  beloved  Wife,  and 
restore  her  to  me  in  Health,  in  Happiness  and  in  Affec- 
tion, all  that  my  Heart  can  wish  her,  and  never  may  we 
part  again !  Amen. 

My  beloved,  again  Adieu.  W.  H. 

Always  remember  me  kindly  to  Mrs  Motte. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XIV.  269 


LETTER  XIV. 

LADY  JONES  was  Anna  Maria,  daughter  of  Dr  Shipley, 
Bishop  of  St  Asaph.  She  was  married  in  1783,  and 
sailed  immediately  with  her  husband  for  India.  She 
suffered  very  much  from  the  climate,  though  her  viva- 
cious letters  show  that  her  high  spirits  remained  un- 
abated. In  1793  she  was  compelled  to  return  home,  and 
"  my  Sir  William,"  as  she  styles  him,  deprived  of  his 
chief  comfort,  died  the  following  year. 

MR  BROOKE  was  the  chief  of  the  Patna  factory.  He 
owed  the  post  to  Wheler,  who  had  also  given  him  his 
first  appointment  to  India.  Bishop  Heber  mentions 
that  he  was  entertained  at  Benares  in  1824  by  Mr 
William  Augustus  Brooke,  who  had  been  fifty-six  years 
in  India,  and  was  the  oldest  of  the  Company's  resident 
servants.  There  must  have  been  few  indeed  whose 
experience  could  bridge  such  a  length  of  time. 

LABADDA  is  explained  in  the  dictionaries  as  "  a  kind 
of  cloak  or  great  coat,"  which  agrees  very  well  with  the 
sense  here,  but  not  so  well  with  Colonel  Hannay's 
"  labadda  of  twelve  fatted  deer." l  Turner's  report  of 
his  Tibet  journey,  which  Hastings  forwarded  to  the 
Council,  and  which  is  printed  in  the  State  Papers,  is 
dated  Patna,  March  2nd.  Among  other  things  sent  for 
the  Tashi  Lama  by  the  Governor-General,  he  had  pre- 
sented "  a  string  of  pearls  and  coral,"  a  small  clock  and 
other  curiosities.  The  labadda  was  probably  the  "  vest 
lined  with  lamb-skins "  which  he  mentions  receiving  in 
return  from  the  Tashi  Lama's  parents,  together  with 
two  pieces  of  satin  for  the  Governor-General. 

The  "  Occupation  of  my  Journey,"  the  result  of  which 
was  sent  to  Mrs  Hastings  with  this  letter,  was  a  long 
poem,  '  Rooroo  and  Promodbora — a  Hindoo  Tale,  bor- 
rowed from  Mr  Wilkins's  Translation  of  the  Maha- 

1  See  supra,  p.  70. 


270  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

bhaurut  (Mahabharata),  and  sent  from  Patna  to  England 
in  the  year  1784.'  This  is  the  title  as  it  appears  in  the 
"volume  bound  in  crimson  morocco  and  gold"  still 
treasured  by  Miss  Winter1 — the  Collection  mentioned  in 
this  letter.  Among  the  British  Museum  papers  is  an- 
other copy,  with  the  heading  worded  a  little  differently. 
Into  the  book  now  in  Miss  Winter's  possession  Hast- 
ings had  evidently  copied  his  former  poems,  and  Mrs 
Hastings,  not  sharing  his  admiration  of  her  hand- 
writing, left  it  to  him  to  do  the  same  with  this  one. 
The  episode  borrowed  from  Wilkins  deals  with  the 
death  of  Promodbora  from  the  bite  of  a  serpent,  and 
the  despair  of  her  bridegroom,  Rooroo,  to  whom  she  is 
eventually  restored  by  celestial  interposition.  In  the 
epilogue  Hastings  applies  the  description  to  his  own 
feelings  when  bereft  of  his  wife. 

PATNA.     ist  March,  1784. 

(Endorsed,  "  Received  the  7th  October.") 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN, — I  have  written  four  Letters 
since  I  left  Calcutta.  I  suspect  that  I  numbered  the 
last  12  instead  of  13.  It  was  written  on  the  28th  of 
last  Month  from  Baugulpoor.  I  will  recapitulate  the 
principal  Subjects  of  my  past  Letters,  as  it  may  pos- 
sibly happen  that  this  may  reach  you  first.  On  the 
gth  of  February  I  was  attacked  with  a  troublesome 
Indisposition  which  hung  upon  me  with  a  slow  Fever 
and  deadly  Languor  to  the  igth. — On  the  I4th  I  re- 
ceived the  Letter  of  Invitation  from  the  Nabob  Vizier, 
and  on  the  same  Morning  delivered  to  the  Secretary  a 
Minute  renewing  my  Offer  of  accepting  it.  Mr  Wheler 
agreed.  Mr  Stables  objected.  —  On  the  I7th  I  met 
them  in  Council,  prevailed  on  them  to  sign  my 

1  Sir  C.  Lawson. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XIV.  271 

Credentials,  and  the  other  necessary  Papers ;  took  my 
Leave,  and  at  Six  of  the  same  Evening  left  Calcutta. 
On  the  Stairs  I  met  Sir  William  Jones  and  his  Lady, 
who  kindly  came  from  the  Country  to  see  and  take 
their  Leave  of  me.  I  went  on  Board  my  Pinnace,  very 
low,  but  happy  to  be  relieved  from  the  Tumults  and 
Importunity  of  Calcutta,  for  no  One  had  Mercy  on  me, 
and  my  Gates,  though  shut,  let  People  through  like  a 
Sieve.  I  am  persuaded  that  my  Sickness  would  have 
lasted,  and  become  more  serious,  had  I  staid  in  Calcutta. 
I  was  far  from  better  the  next  Day.  On  the  igth  I 
arrived  at  Sooksaugur,  greatly  mended.  Croftes  with 
the  gout  all  over  him  would  join  me  there.  On  the 
Evening  of  the  2ist  I  returned  to  my  Pinnace,  pro- 
ceeded, and  on  the  Evening  of  the  23rd  at  5  I  landed 
at  Nuddeea,  and  began  my  Journey,  reading  as  I  set  off 
the  villainous  News  which  had  been  fabricated  at  Madrass 
and  sent  me  by  Messrs.  Wheler  and  Stables,  of  my 
Removal  from  the  Government  and  Lord  Macartney's 
succession. — I  breakfasted  the  next  Day  at  Afzoolbaug, 
proceeded  in  the  Evening  and  on  the  Morning  of  the 
26th  I  arrived  at  Baugulpoor. — I  rested  there  3  days. 
On  the  28th  at  5  in  the  Evening  I  took  my  Leave  of 
my  Two  good  Friends,  and  yesterday  Morning  (for  this 
is  the  2nd)  I  arrived  with  Mr  Brooke  at  his  House  at 
Bankipoor,  which  in  the  Date  of  my  Letter  I  call 
Patna.  To  morrow  I  shall  breakfast  and  dine  at 
Colonel  Eyre's  at  Dinapoor,  and  join  my  Tents  in  the 
Evening  on  the  other  Side  of  the  Soan. 

Though  I  have  travelled  with  great  Expedition,  I 
have  suffered  neither  Fatigue,  nor  any  Inconvenience, 
either  from  the  Sun  of  the  Day,  or  the  piercing  Cold 


272  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

of  the  Night,  for  which  I  had  made  no  Provision,  the 
hot  Weather  having  set  in  when  I  left  Calcutta.  On 
the  Contrary  my  Health  and  Strength  exceed  every 
Degree  of  either  that  I  have  known  for  the  last  three 
Years. — Here  I  have  met  my  Baggage,  Servants  and 
the  Companions  of  my  future  Journey.  Having  been 
my  own  Servant  so  long,  it  is  a  great  Comfort  to  find 
my  own  People  again  about  me,  and  Turner  who  has 
joined  me  here  from  Tibbet  has  brought  me  with  other 
Presents  from  the  Lama,  &c.,  a  Labadda,  a  furred  Cap 
and  a  Pair  of  Boots  which  would  keep  me  warm  in 
Siberia.  Among  other  Things  is  a  Box  of  genuine 
Musk  in  Powder,  which  I  shall  send  by  the  Post  to 
Dr  Francis,  to  be  sent  to  you  by  the  Earl  of  Oxford. 

O  my  sweet  Marian,  what  would  I  give  to  be  able  to 
convey  to  you  all  that  has  passed  in  my  Mind  during 
my  long  Journey!  You  occupied  every  Step  of  it,  and 
filled  my  Heart  with  an  Affection  which  others  may 
have  felt,  but  which  never  warmed  the  Breast  of  any 
Man  living  in  a  Degree  exceeding  the  Warmth  of  mine. 
Many  a  severe  Pang  too  have  I  suffered  in  the  Gloomi- 
ness which  sometimes  seized  my  Imagination ;  Often 
has  my  Throat  swelled,  and  the  Tears  have  filled  my 
Eyes,  while  your  Image  floated  in  the  Vision  of  my 
Fancy;  and  yet  though  my  Hours  have  been  Hours  of 
Affliction,  I  know  not  how  to  account  for  it,  but  they 
have  yielded  a  Sensation  so  like  to  Happiness  that  I 
would  not  part  with  my  Reflexions  for  all  the  Blessings 
which  the  World  could  yield  without  you. — This  is  an 
Inconsistency  which  your  Heart  will  understand  by  the 
Similitude  of  its  own  Feelings. — At  least  I  believe  so. — 
Much  more  I  could  say,  but  I  cannot  trust  Sentiments 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XIV.  273 

so  sacred  to  the  uncertain  Conveyance  of  a  Letter. — I 
love  you  to  the  Extremity  of  Passion,  and  live  only  in 
the  Hope  of  regaining  the  Possession  of  my  adored 
Marian ;  I  would  not  live,  if  that  Hope  had  entirely 
forsaken  me ;  and  yet  how  many  Chances  are  against 
me ; — but  I  will  not  think  of  them. 

I  have  the  Pleasure  to  send  you  with  this  a  Part  of 
the  Occupation  of  my  Journey.  It  was  begun  while  I 
lay  on  my  Bed  sick  in  Calcutta,  but  the  greater  Part 
was  composed  between  Calcutta  and  Baugulpoor.  I  do 
not  believe  that  the  Wealth  of  the  World  could  have 
bribed  my  Genius  to  produce  such  a  Composition,  had 
you  not  formed  the  principal  Subject  of  it,  and  my  Imag- 
ination not  been  assisted  by  the  Hope  of  its  becoming 
a  future  Source  of  Entertainment  to  you.  If  your  own 
Feelings  meet,  and  acknowledge  those  which  I  have 
described,  give  it  a  Place  in  the  Collection  of  the 
former  Effects  of  your  Inspiration.  But  if  you  read  it 
with  a  composed  Mind,  and  admire  it  only  as  a  Pro- 
duction of  mere  poetical  Merit  (for  so  much  I  am  sure 
of  from  the  Partiality  of  your  Judgement),  burn  it ;  for 
it  is  good  for  nothing.— My  Hopes  are  more  sanguine. 
I  expect  to  see  it  written  in  the  Book,  and  in  the  fair 
Scrawl  of  my  dear  Marian's  own  Hand ;  and  if  it  should 
prove  the  last  of  the  Volume,  it  will  complete  an 
Assemblage,  of  which  there  are  few  Examples,  of  so 
many  poetical  Attempts  (God  knows,  whether  good,  or 
bad)  produced  from  the  Strength  of  a  Mind  heated  by 
Love  alone,  without  the  least  Inspiration  of  natural 
Genius,  and  without  a  Sentiment  in  the  whole  Collec- 
tion that  exceeded  the  Truth,  and  few  that  equalled 
the  Feelings  which  gave  birth  to  them. 

s 


274  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Find  out  some  means  to  let  me  know  that  you  have 
received  this;  for  I  would  not  have  it  fall  into  other 
Hands  for  the  World,  and  should  be  grieved  that  you 
missed  it. 

May  God  bless  and  protect  you,  my  Heart's  beloved! 
Amen.  Amen.  WARREN  HASTINGS. 


LETTER  XV. 

MAJOR  EATON  was  now  in  command  of  the  Sepoy 
battalion  and  the  station  at  Buxar.  He  had  evidently 
sent  his  chariot  to  meet  the  Governor  -  General  as  a 
mark  of  civility. 

ALLY  IBRAHIM  CAWN  was  the  excellent  Mussulman 
whom  Hastings  had  appointed  Chief  Magistrate  of 
Benares  at  the  end  of  1781.  He  describes  him  in  his 
letter  to  the  Council  as  "a  man  who  has  long  been 
personally  known  to  myself,  and,  I  believe,  to  many 
individuals  of  our  Government,  and  whose  character  for 
moderation,  disinterestedness,  and  good  sense  will  bear 
the  tests  of  the  strictest  enquiry,"  and  the  Council,  in 
their  reply,  say  that  "  the  universal  good  character  of 
Ally  Ibrahim  Cawn  .  .  .  justifies  every  confidence  in 
him."1 

It  will  be  remembered  that  the  family  of  BENERAM 
PUNDIT  lived  at  Benares. 

BUXAR.     8M  March,  1784. 

The  Cold  is  still  almost  piercing  in  the  Mornings. 
(Endorsed,  "  Received  November  28th,  1785,"  (sic).) 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN,  —  Hearing  that  the  Warren 
Hastings  was  likely  to  be  detained,  and  desirous  of 
taking  my  Chance  of  conveying  by  her  a  second  Copy  of 

1  State  Papers. 


SERIES   III.— LETTER  XV.  275 

the  Paper  which  I  sent  to  you  in  my  Dispatch  from  Patna, 
No.  14,  I  sent  away  one  by  the  Post  from  yesterday's 
Encampment  to  Thompson,  to  be  put  by  him  into  the 
Packet.  The  Letter  which  I  wrote  to  accompany  it  I 
in  the  Hurry  of  closing  the  Packet  left  out;  but  it 
was  short,  and  of  no  Consequence.  Possibly  this  may 
arrive  in  Time  to  go  by  the  same  Dispatch.  The  Paper 
itself  will  show  in  what  Manner  my  Mind  was  employed 
in  the  otherwise  tedious  Hours  of  my  Journey ;  and  I 
believe  that  I  owe  to  this  Occupation  of  it  that  I  suffered 
no  Fatigue  or  other  Inconvenience  from  so  continued  an 
Exercise.  How  should  I  when  my  Thoughts  were  all 
the  Time  engrossed  by  the  only  Object  that  I  can  dwell 
upon  with  Delight,  for  a  Delight  it  is,  though  mixed  with 
many  very  painful  Reflexions.  It  would  hardly  be  under- 
stood by  another,  but  you  will  know  the  Truth  of  it,  when 
I  mention  that  I  feel  a  higher  Gratification  in  brooding 
over  the  Subject  of  the  greatest  Unhappiness  that  has 
befallen  me  for  Years  past  than  on  such  as  in  common 
Estimation  would  be  most  pleasing  to  the  Mind.  I 
must  not  let  my  Thoughts  wander,  for  I  am  at  this 
Instant  surrounded  by  Strangers,  and  others  are  gather- 
ing about  me  to  whom  I  shall  be  compelled  to  give 
Attention,  and  I  must  not  lose  this  Post,  lest  I  should 
lose  the  Ship. 

I  am  in  perfect  Health.  Since  I  crossed  the  Soan, 
I  have  made  the  last  Parts  of  3  Marches  on  Horseback. 
This  Morning  I  used  M.  (Major)  Eton's  Chariot  out  of 
Civility.  Suliman  and  the  Arab  are  with  me,  both  in 
excellent  Order,  and  I  use  them  in  Turns.  I  ride  about 
8  Miles  in  a  Morning,  and  find  great  Benefit  in  it.  In 
a  Word  I  flatter  myself  that  this  Journey  from  which 


276  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

I  dreaded  the  worst  Effects  has  effectually  restored  my 
Constitution.  You  would  be  astonished  to  see  me.  Ah ! 
Marian,  what  a  Pity  / 1  .  .  .  Poor  Sands  is  not  so  stout 
as  I  am,  but  we  will  make  him  so. 

I  have  been  joined  by  Ally  Ibrahim  Cawn  and  Beneram 
Pundit,  whom  you  know  that  I  reckon  among  my  first 
Friends.  To  the  first  I  am  indebted  for  having  raised 
my  Character  and  made  it  known  to  every  Quarter  of 
India  by  his  wise  Administration  of  the  City  of  Benaris. 
— Poor  Clevland !  Every  Tongue  through  Bengal  and 
Bahar  is  loud  in  his  Praises  and  in  Expressions  of  deep 
Regret  for  his  Loss. — I  hope  to  reach  Benaris  in  5  Days 
more,  and  probably  this  is  the  last  Letter  that  you  can 
receive  from  me  by  the  Ships  of  this  Season. — It  will 
afford  you  the  Satisfaction  of  knowing  that  I  am  well, 
and  I  must  add  for  Confirmation  of  it,  in  better  Health 
than  I  have  known  for  some  Years  past.  What  a 
Change !  I  crawled  from  the  Shore  to  Croftes's  Bungalo 
at  Sooksaugur,  and  my  Strength  and  Breath  failed  me, 
and  my  Knees  shook  under  me.  At  this  Moment  I 
think  myself  as  stout  as  any  one  of  the  Party.  I  ought 
to  conclude  here,  for  I  can  say  nothing  more  acceptable, 
except  that  I  love  you  more  than  my  Life,  or  even  than 
my  Hopes  of  Life  hereafter. 

Adieu,  my  Heart's  beloved !  May  the  God  of 
Heaven  bless  and  protect  you !  Amen. 

WARREN  HASTINGS. 

Compliments  to  Bibby  Motte.  I  have  always  a  little 
Love  for  her.  It  would  be  called  a  great  One,  were  not 
yours  too  near  it,  to  lessen  it  by  the  Comparison. 

1  /.£.,  What  a  pity  that  she  could  not  see  him. 


SERIES    III. — NOTE.  277 

NOTE. 

The  eight  letters  which  should  have  followed  the 
preceding  one,  covering  the  period  between  March  8th 
and  August  I3th,  1784,  are  all  missing,  and  there  is 
no  trace  of  their  contents  in  the  Correspondence  or  the 
Copies  of  Private  Letters,  or  in  Gleig's  Biography. 


278 


CHAPTER    III. 

AUGUST,  SEPTEMBER  AND  OCTOBER,  1784. 
Affairs  of  Benares,  Oudh  and  Delhi. 

OWING  to  the  disappearance  of  eight  letters  of  this 
series,1  we  find  Hastings,  at  the  opening  of  the  present 
chapter,  engrossed  in  an  entirely  new  set  of  interests. 
Happily  the  course  of  events  can  in  some  degree  be 
traced  by  means  of  his  letters  to  the  Council  and  other 
documents  printed  in  the  State  Papers,  but  many  of 
the  connecting  links  are  lost.  On  crossing  the  boundary 
of  the  Presidency  he  found  himself  at  once  in  a  district 
sorely  afflicted  with  famine.  The  failure  of  the  rains, 
and  consequently  of  the  crops,  for  three  years  in  suc- 
cession had  caused  terrible  scarcity,  as  mentioned  in 
Letter  XXIV.,  from  the  Karamnasa  as  far  as  the  north 
of  the  Panjab.  The  people  of  Bengal  had  suffered  very 
little,  both  because  the  rains  there  had  been  fairly  regular, 
and  because  Hastings  had  taken  stringent  measures  to 
prevent  the  artificial  enhancing  of  the  price  of  grain. 
But  in  the  territories  under  the  rule  of  the  native  princes 
the  state  of  affairs  was  terrible,  and  Hastings  says  that 
from  Buxar  to  Benares  he  was  followed  by  the  clamours 
of  the  discontented  inhabitants.  The  Naib,  or  admin- 
istrator of  the  province  during  the  minority  of  the 

1  It  is  possible  that  none  of  these  reached  Mrs  Hastings,  as  they  seem  all  to 
have  been  despatched  by  unusual  routes,  the  sailing-season  having  passed.  See 
infra,  p.  296. 


SERIES   III. — AFFAIRS   OF   BENARES,    ETC.  279 

Zamindar,  acknowledged  to  the  Governor- General  that 
his  principle  was  to  exact  the  revenues  rigidly,  regard- 
less of  the  failure  of  the  rains,  so  that  the  few  culti- 
vators who  had  succeeded  in  raising  a  crop  saw  the 
whole  produce  swept  from  them  to  make  up  the  de- 
ficiencies of  their  neighbours.  With  such  terror  had 
the  people  learnt  to  regard  any  representative  of  gov- 
ernment that  Hastings  found  every  town  and  village 
deserted  as  he  approached,  though  he  had  sent  the 
Naib  before  him  to  promise  protection  to  the  inhabit- 
ants. Learning  his  kindly  intentions,  they  returned 
to  pursue  him  with  complaints,  and  to  profit  by  the 
daily  distribution  of  grain  which  was  carried  out  at  his 
expense.1  Arrived  in  Benares,  he  found  a  pleasing  con- 
trast in  the  peace  and  contentment  prevailing  in  the 
city,  due  to  the  regulations  he  had  devised  and  the 
administration  of  AH  Ibrahim  Khan,  and  he  was  en- 
couraged to  set  to  work  on  a  scheme  for  the  reform 
of  the  whole  civil  system  of  the  zamindari,  including 
the  tenure  of  land,  the  assessment  of  revenue,  and 
the  appointment  of  officials. 

After  a  stay  of  five  days  in  Benares,  which  he  gained 
by  making  forced  marches,  while  the  escort  followed 
more  slowly,  Hastings  continued  his  journey,  and  arrived 
at  Lucknow  on  March  27th.  Here  he  found  the  Nawab- 
Vizier  and  his  ministers  all  eagerness  to  meet  his  views, 
but  Bristow,  even  in  departing,  had  done  what  he  could 
to  render  the  task  of  reconstruction  difficult.  He  had 
carried  off  all  the  accounts  of  his  office,  leaving  Womb- 
well,  the  accountant,  without  any  details,  either  of 
expenditure  or  money  received.  Among  his  assistants, 
whose  salary  was  in  arrears,  he  had  divided  a  sum  of 
three  lakhs,  but  with  so  much  partiality  that  while  his 
favourites  received  more  than  was  due  to  them,  those 
whom  he  disliked  had  nothing.  To  crown  all,  he  had 
taken  away  with  him  the  very  carpets  and  curtains 

1  Se'ir-ul-Mutaqharin. 


280  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

belonging  to  the  house  lent  him  by  the  Nawab- Vizier. 
Instead  of  devoting  himself  at  once  to  the  work  for 
which  he  had  come,  Hastings  was  obliged  to  wait  while 
the  separate  accounts  were  collected  from  the  officials 
who  had  handed  them  in,  but  he  was  able  on  April 
2ist  to  despatch  bills  for  thirteen  lakhs  to  Calcutta,  in 
part  payment  of  the  Nawab- Vizier's  debt  —  provided 
largely  by  Almas  AH  Khan,  who  had  returned  to  the 
rescue  of  his  master  now  that  his  enemy  Bristow  was 
removed.  Five  lakhs  more  was  expected  in  a  few  days 
from  the  Rohilla  chief,  Faiz  Ullah  Khan,  and  other 
sums  as  the  collectors  could  furnish  them,  but  Hastings 
forbore  to  urge  the  ministers  to  haste,  in  view  of  the 
state  of  the  country.  He  durst  not  speak  confidently 
of  the  future,  for  fear  of  another  bad  season,  but  be- 
lieved that  otherwise  there  were  the  fairest  hopes  of  a 
final  settlement. 

While  the  Governor-General  was  thus  employed  in 
providing  for  the  welfare  of  Benares  and  Oudh,  another 
and  even  larger  task  presented  itself  to  him.  When 
he  visited  the  Upper  Provinces  in  1781,  he  had  enter- 
tained a  hope  of  extending  his  journey  as  far  as  Delhi, 
and  obtaining  an  interview  with  the  Emperor  Shah 
Alam,1  but  circumstances  had  prevented  its  realisation. 
The  state  of  things  in  the  Mogul  capital  could  not  well 
have  been  worse  than  it  was.  As  regarded  the  govern- 
ment of  his  territories,  the  unhappy  potentate  was  en- 
tirely in  the  hands  of  his  principal  minister,  while  his 
action  in  external  affairs  was  controlled  by  the  Marathas. 
Najif  Khan,  who  had  ruled  him  for  many  years,  died 
in  1782,  and  Hastings  thought  the  opportunity  favour- 
able for  stepping  in  "to  relieve  the  Shah  from  the 
thraldom  of  his  ministers,  and  to  establish  his  authority 
at  least  in  his  own  domains."  Three  or  four  different 
parties  were  contending  for  Najif  Khan's  vacant  place, 
and  Hastings  was  of  opinion  that  "a  small  exertion  of 

1  Instructions  to  Major  Browne  in  State  Papers. 


SERIES   III. — AFFAIRS   OF   BENARES,   ETC.  28l 

our  force  might  have  turned  the  scale  in  favour  of  the 
Shah,  and  it  might  have  been  done  without  any  expense 
to  ourselves."  But  the  Council  feared  to  take  the 
responsibility,  and  he  was  obliged  to  content  himself 
with  appointing  Major  Browne  as  his  own  personal 
Agent  at  the  Court  of  Delhi,  with  detailed  secret  in- 
structions, of  which  the  Council  were  actually,  though 
not  technically,  cognizant.  Now,  in  April,  1784,  he 
writes  to  them  that  affairs  are  much  changed.  "  Many 
successive  revolutions  have  since  taken  place.  One  com- 
petitor has  sunk  after  another.  Some  have  fallen  by 
the  sword,  and  others  have  retired  with  their  armies  to 
their  own  jaghirs,  till  at  length  the  administration  at  the 
capital  has  fallen  into  the  hands  of  Afrasiab  Cawn.  In 
these  various  revolutions  the  Shah  himself  has  had  little 
share.  Each  successive  minister  has  acted  under  his 
name  and  assumed  his  authority." 

This  Afrasiab  Khan,  "  Bukshi  (Bakhshi,  paymaster, 
hence  commander  -  in  -  chief),  of  Indostan,"  who  had 
brought  about  the  murder  of  his  immediate  predecessor, 
Mirza  Shaft,  had  established  his  dominion  over  the 
Emperor  even  more  firmly  than  Najif  Khan  had  done. 
Imperial  edicts,  or  shokas,  inspired  by  him,  proclaimed 
him  as  the  possessor  of  the  entire  powers  of  the  state, 
and  the  one  faithful  servant  that  remained  to  the  imperial 
house,  Mujid-u-Daula,  was  reduced  to  impotence.  At 
this  time  Afrasiab  Khan  was  anxious  to  consolidate  his 
power  by  allying  himself  with  the  English,  and  with 
characteristic  duplicity  sought  to  effect  his  purpose  by 
arousing  in  Hastings'  mind  doubts  as  to  the  honesty  of 
Sindhia.  Liberally  supporting  his  assertions  by  means 
of  forged  documents,  he  declared  that  Sindhia  aspired  to 
dominate  the  remaining  Mogul  territories,  using  them  as 
a.  pied  a  terre  from  which  to  invade  Oudh,  bring  about  the 
restoration  of  the  Rohilla  chiefs  and  of  Chait  Singh,  and 
impose  a  double  indemnity  on  Bengal  in  the  shape  of 
the  Maratha  chauth  and  the  tribute  formerly  payable  to 


282  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

the  Emperor.  In  these  nefarious  designs  Afrasiab  Khan 
declared  that  he  must  join,  failing  the  alliance  he  desired 
with  the  English.  Major  Browne  was  inclined  to  credit 
his  story,  but  Hastings,  in  his  letter  to  the  Council  of 
April  22nd,1  traverses  point  by  point  the  evidence  which 
has  been  so  carefully  concocted.  In  place  of  duplicity 
and  falsehood,  Sindhia  had  always  shown  the  greatest 
sincerity  in  his  dealings  with  the  English,  and  his  con- 
duct towards  the  Rana  of  Gohad,  which  had  been 
specially  blamed,  was  due  to  the  notorious  unfaithful- 
ness of  that  ruler.  The  letters  alleged  to  have  been 
written  by  Sindhia's  authority  were  couched  in  terms 
that  threw  suspicion  upon  their  genuineness,  and  were 
produced  by  people  whose  interest  it  was  to  sow  dissen- 
sion between  him  and  the  English.  There  was  no  ap- 
pearance of  truth  in  the  accusations  of  conspiracy  brought 
against  the  Rohilla  chiefs,  but  a  strong  presumption  to 
the  contrary  in  the  fact  that  one  of  Faiz  Ullah's  sons 
was  actually  in  Lucknow,  where  he  might  be  seized  as 
a  hostage  upon  the  first  alarm.  Lastly,  while  Afrasiab 
Khan  had  accused  Sindhia  of  inducing  Tipu  to  prolong 
the  Carnatic  War,  Hastings  was  able  to  announce  that 
peace  was  actually  signed.  In  conclusion,  the  Governor- 
General  desired  leave  to  reserve  his  judgment,  promising 
to  give  his  earnest  attention  to  the  politics  of  Delhi  and 
the  intentions  of  Sindhia  while  he  was  at  Lucknow. 

This  calm  consideration  was  interrupted  by  an  extra- 
ordinary and  romantic  incident.  The  eldest  son  of  the 
Emperor,  Prince  Jiwan  Bakht,  contrived  to  escape  from 
practical  imprisonment  at  Delhi,  and  eluding  the  watch- 
fulness of  Afrasiab  Khan,  fled  to  Lucknow,  where  he  cast 
himself  on  the  protection  of  Hastings,  entreating  his  help 
in  throwing  off  the  domination  of  the  upstart  minister, 
and  restoring  his  father  to  the  reality  of  power.  The 
Prince  had  shown  so  much  adroitness  in  effecting  his 
escape,  and  his  appearance  and  disposition  were  so 

1  State  Papers. 


SERIES   III. — AFFAIRS   OF   BENARES,    ETC.  283 

engaging,  that  Hastings,  always  ready  to  form  a  favour- 
able opinion  of  a  newcomer,  was  taken  by  storm.  The 
maintenance  of  the  Mogul  dominions  as  a  barrier  against 
the  encroachments  of  the  Sikhs — whose  outposts  were 
within  four  days  of  Delhi — was  an  important  item  in  his 
policy,  and  the  doubts  which  he  had  felt  as  to  the 
prudence  of  ensuring  their  integrity  by  force  of  arms 
vanished  in  the  presence  of  this  unexpected  ally.  With 
Sindhia  staunch,  and  the  heir  to  the  imperial  throne 
bound  to  the  English  by  chains  of  gratitude  for  the  past 
and  policy  for  the  future,  Delhi  might  be  made  the  centre 
of  a  buffer  state  which  should  guarantee  the  safety  of 
Oudh.  Most  unfortunately,  the  letters  in  which  he 
pressed  his  views  upon  the  Council,  like  those  in  which 
he  described  the  Prince  and  his  arrival  to  Mrs  Hastings, 
have  disappeared,  and  in  writing  to  Scott,  he  makes  only 
disconnected  allusions  to  the  subject,  leaving  Jonathan 
Scott,  whom  he  had  placed  in  attendance  on  the  Prince, 
to  write  a  full  account.1 

Happily  the  Correspondence  supplies  the  lack  in  some 
measure,  containing,  as  it  does,  a  number  of  curious 
translations  of  Persian  letters  showing  the  course  of  the 
negociations  between  Hastings,  the  Prince,  and  his  father 
— behind  whom  stands  Afrasiab  Khan.  The  first  shows 
the  extreme  difficulty  in  which  the  Governor  -  General 
found  himself,  between  the  youth  who  was  hurrying  to 
throw  himself  on  his  mercy,  and  the  peremptory  command 
that  he  should  be  sent  back  to  Delhi. 

"  To  the  Prince  Jewan  Buckht  Jehandar  Shaw.  The 
Imperial  Shokeh  conferring  Honor,  mentioning  that  your 
Royal  Highness  has  left  Dehly  without  leave  from  the 
Presence  or  his  Majesty's  Permission,  and  that  my  Duty 
consists  in  this  (that  immediately  on  the  arrival  of  the 
Shokeh  if  your  Royal  Highness  should  be  in  these  parts 
or  should  come  to  me,  I  should  instantly  send  you  to  the 
Presence,  or  if  in  case  your  Highness  should  go  to  Scindia, 

1  Gleig,  III.  185. 


284  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

as  friendship  subsists  between  him  and  me  I  should  use 
my  earnest  endeavours  to  prevail  on  him  to  send  you  to 
the  Presence),  having  made  its  glorious  descent,1  has  in- 
formed me  of  the  directions  of  the  glorious  Presence.  I 
have  just  learned  that  your  Imperial  Highness  is  advanc- 
ing on  the  Road  leading  to  this  Place,  therefore  I  repre- 
sent that  though  respect  and  submission  to  your  Highness 
must  impress  the  dutiful  Breasts  of  all  mankind,  but  are 
particularly  imprinted  on  the  Heart  of  this  undoubted 
Servant,  yet  regard  to  the  fate- directing  orders  of  the 
commanding  Presence  is  incumbent  and  inevitable.  In 
this  case  your  Imperial  Highness  will  impartially  conceive 
that  with  such  orders  from  His  Majesty,  this  loyal  Servant 
cannot  shew  his  respect  and  submission  to  your  Highness, 
and  that  a  failure  in  them  on  his  Part  will  cause  him  un- 
feigned anxiety  and  concern.  Therefore  he  hopes  that 
your  Royal  Highness  will  not  make  him  ashamed  and 
perplexed,  and  that  you  will  esteem  him  ready  in  every 
Service  and  command  becoming  a  loyal  subject,  for  his 
duty  and  obedience  to  the  family  of  your  Highness  are 
undoubted.  A  Copy  of  the  Imperial  Shoka  is  sent 
enclosed  in  this  address  for  your  Highness's  perusal. 
More  would  exceed  respect." 

In  the  next  letter,  "To  Shaw  Aulum,"  the  difficulty  is 
dexterously  shelved  for  the  moment.  After  remarking 
that  "Just  at  the  period  marked  by  Prosperity,  the  royal 
Shokeh  conferring  honour  .  .  .  having  made  its  glorious 
descent,  raised  my  honour  and  reputation  to  the  highest 
Heavens,"  and  recapitulating  the  orders  it  contained, 
Hastings  goes  on  : — 

"  Rightful  Guide  and  Director.  In  my  desire  of  appro- 
bation and  obedience  to  the  world-commanding  orders,  I 
am  confident  and  intent  with  my  Heart  and  Life  and 
even  esteem  Submission  as  my  most  acceptable  religious 
duty,  yet  as  the  Almighty  has  so  exalted  and  distinguished 
the  glorious  Family  of  Timur  that  the  Hand  of  a  Servant 

1  I.e.,  the  shoka. 


SERIES    III. — AFFAIRS    OF    BENARES,    ETC.  285 

dare  not  reach  to  one  of  it  with  disrespect — I  dare  not 
commit  such  an  action ;  but  I  will  not  in  any  way  court 
or  attend  Him.  I  came  here  entirely  to  visit  the  Nabob 
Vizier,  therefore  it  is  most  probable  that  his  Highness 
will  not  turn  this  Way,  but  if  he  should,  Disobedience  to 
the  orders  of  your  Majesty  can  never  happen  from  this 
servant,  because  he  esteems  obedience  to  them  as  superior 
to  all  other  concerns.  More  would  exceed  respect." 

The  next  move  in  the  game  falls  to  the  Amir-ul-Amra, 
Afrasiab  Khan  himself,  whose  letter  contains  the  dark 
warning,  "  If  (which  God  forbid),  any  one  should  act  im- 
properly, he  will  from  his  vain  Imaginations  and  wretched 
Visions,  sift  the  dust  of  shame  upon  his  own  head." 
Letters  follow  from  the  Prince,  who  alludes  to  himself 
as  "this  feeble  ant,"  and  addresses  Hastings  as  "You  my 
brother  dear  as  life,"  and  from  the  Emperor  —  whose 
utterances  were  of  course  dictated  by  Afrasiab  Khan. 
Shah  Alam  calls  Hastings  "Our  deserving  son  .  .  .  the 
Strength  of  the  Arm  of  Empire  and  the  Prop  of  the 
State  .  .  .  Pillar  of  the  Pillars  of  the  State,"  and 
encloses  a  draft  of  the  treaty  which  Afrasiab  Khan  was 
anxious  to  conclude,  in  the  preamble  to  which  Hastings 
is  described  as  "  the  life  -  devoted  servant  Ameer  -  ul  - 
Momalic  Ummad  ul  Dowlah  Governor  Bahauder,"  and 
is  invited  to  sign  it,  "  taking  God  to  witness,  and  swear- 
ing on  the  Evangelists,  and  calling  on  Jesus  Christ  and 
the  Virgin  Mary  as  sureties."  In  opposition  to  this 
comes  the  Prince's  endeavour  to  engage  him  in  support 
of  the  Emperor  against  Afrasiab  Khan,  but  he  was  dis- 
inclined to  accept  either  proposal.  On  May  6th  he  goes 
out  with  the  Nawab- Vizier  to  meet  the  Prince  on  the  road 
leading  to  the  city,  and  finds  him  in  a  state  almost  of 
destitution.  "  He  was  met  about  eighteen  miles  distant 
from  town,"  says  the  paraphrase  of  Hastings'  letter  to  the 
Court  of  Directors  in  the  'Lady's  Magazine.'  "The  Nabob 
and  Mr  Hastings  made  their  homage  to  him  on  their 
knees.  He  was  in  great  distress  for  the  want  of  almost 


286  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

every  necessary  of  life  .  .  .  not  above  real  want. 
Generous  efforts  were  made  to  remedy  or  alleviate  them  y 
but  he  scorned  them  all,  while  his  father  continued  in  the 
wretched  state  which  he  had  represented  him.  The  pres- 
ents of  a  pecuniary  nature  tendered  to  him,  he  earnestly 
begged  might  be  remitted  to  Delhi.  He  would  not 
share  in  any  luxury  whatever,  while  his  royal  father 
remained  in  his  present  necessitous  condition."  "  I 
first  met  the  Prince  on  the  plain  of  Mohaun,"  says 
Hastings  to  the  Council,1  "  without  state,  without  attend- 
ance, with  scarce  a  tent  for  his  covering  or  a  change  of 
raiment,  but  that  with  which  the  recent  effect  of  hospital- 
ity had  furnished  him,  and  with  the  expression  of  a  mind 
evidently  struggling  between  the  pride  of  inherent  dignity 
and  the  conscious  sense  of  present  indignance  and  de- 
pendence. ...  I  found  him  gentle,  lively,  possessed  of 
a  high  sense  of  honor,  of  a  sound  judgment,  an  un- 
commonly quick  penetration,  and  a  well-cultivated  under- 
standing, with  a  spirit  of  resignation  and  an  equality  of 
temper  almost  exceeding  any  within  the  reach  of  my  own 
knowledge  or  recollection." 

Already  moved  as  much  by  a  genuine  personal  interest 
as  by  policy,  the  Governor-General  took  part  the  next 
day  in  a  procession  of  welcome  which  lasted  from  sun- 
rise till  nearly  eight  o'clock.  The  greatest  honour  was 
shown  to  the  fugitive,  the  Nawab-Vizier  sitting  on  the 
Khowass,  or  seat  behind  the  howdah  occupied  by  his 
guest,  while  Hastings  followed  the  royal  elephant  on 
horseback.  It  was  this  act  of  courtesy  which,  in  Bishop 
Heber's  day,  had  been  exaggerated  by  the  natives  into 
the  assertion  that  he  rode  among  the  Prince's  attendants 
as  one  of  them,  carrying  a  fan  of  peacock's  feathers. 
The  Prince  insisted  on  staying  near  the  Governor- 
General,  and  Hastings  gave  up  to  him  the  house  which 
had  been  prepared  for  himself,  and  removed  to  one 
forming  part  of  the  palace  of  the  Nawab- Vizier,  where 

1  State  Papers. 


SERIES   III. — AFFAIRS   OF   BENARES,    ETC.  287 

he  was  lodged  "  most  magnificently  and  most  uncom- 
fortably." The  next  day  he  visited  the  Prince,  who 
received  him  in  his  private  apartment,  and  made  him 
a  frank  declaration  of  his  affairs.  He  was  prepared 
either  to  return  to  his  father,  if  the  English  would 
guarantee  his  safety,  or  to  ask  permission  to  take 
passage  for  England — presumably  to  appeal  for  help  to 
the  King  himself.  Hastings  laid  the  matter  before  his 
colleagues  on  the  Council,  and  returned  a  temporising 
answer  to  the  letter  of  the  Emperor  and  Afrasiab  Khan, 
telling  the  former  that  "  the  exalting  assurances  of  your 
Majesty  .  .  .  raised  the  head  of  our  self-approbation  to 
the  summit  of  joy." 

Meanwhile,  the  unhappy  Emperor  had  contrived  to 
inform  Major  Browne,  in  a  private  interview,  of  his 
satisfaction  that  his  son  was  out  of  Delhi,  and  safe, 
and  the  same  intelligence  is  conveyed  in  a  secret  note 
enclosed  in  a  pathetic  letter  from  the  Prince's  aunt  or 
grandmother,  the  Begum  Sahebeh  Mhal.1  "  May  the 
Splendour  of  the  Forehead  of  Empire  and  Dominion, 
the  Light  of  the  Eye  of  Royalty  and  Power,  fortunate 
son  of  illustrious  Birth,  Mahomed  Jehander  Shaw,  happy 
and  favored  under  the  Protection  of  the  holy  Eternal,  be 
successful  in  all  his  Desires  here  and  hereafter ! "  she 
begins,  and  assures  the  "Light  of  my  Eyes"  that  his 
father's  true  sentiments  are  to  be  found  only  in  the 
hurried  scrap  she  encloses.  All  other  letters  purporting 
to  come  from  him  are  written  under  compulsion  from 
Afrasiab  Khan.  She  sends  her  thanks  and  blessings  to 
Hastings  for  his  kindness,  and  he  despatches  a  respectful 
reply. 

Finding  his  situation  as  a  dependant  upon  the  bounty 
of  the  Nawab- Vizier,  his  father's  feudatory,  very  irksome, 
the  Prince  began  to  think  of  retiring  to  Benares,  and 

1  She  is  called  in  another  letter  "the  widow  of  Mahummud  Shaw,"  but 
most  of  the  male  members  of  the  imperial  house  seem  to  have  been  named 
Mohammed. 


288  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Hastings  was  inclined  to  encourage  the  proposal.  "  Here 
he  cannot  remain,"  he  writes  to  Wheler  from  Lucknow, 
"  for  the  Nabob  and  he  would  become  Strangers  in  a 
Week,  and  in  a  Month  open  Enemies."  While  it  was 
still  under  consideration,  Major  Browne  arrived  from 
Delhi,  bringing  letters  and  khilats  from  the  Emperor  for 
Hastings  and  Asaf-u-Daula,  who  together  "advanced 
beyond  the  city  to  receive  them,  in  compliance  with 
the  forms  of  respect  prescribed  and  established  for  such 
occasions."  The  letter  of  thanks  sent  by  Hastings  for 
the  honour  conferred  upon  him  is  curious : — 

"  The  firmaun  full  of  condescension  with  a  Khelaat 
conferring  distinction  on  this  faithful  servant,  which  from 
the  Court  of  Bounty  and  favor,  guarded  by  Angels,  made 
its  splendid  descent  like  divine  Revelation,  raised  the 
head  of  distinction  and  honor  of  this  servant  confirmed 
in  obedience  to  the  highest  heaven.  Having  hastened 
to  meet  these  royal  favors,  and  thrown  upon  the  head 
of  Loyalty  and  shoulders  of  Submission  the  Portion  of 
honor  and  distinction,  he  as  far  as  in  his  Power,  but  not 
adequate  to  such  inestimable  Bounties,  performed  the 
rules  of  Prostration  and  Ceremonies  of  Obeisance." 

Finding  that  his  draft  treaty  was  not  signed,  Afrasiab 
Khan  seems  to  have  thought  it  advisable  to  make  a  dem- 
onstration in  another  direction,  and  alarm  the  English 
by  showing  a  readiness  to  enter  into  the  threatened 
alliance  with  Sindhia.  To  do  this,  it  was  necessary 
that  the  Emperor  should  remove  to  Acbarabad  (Agra). 
Mujid-u-Daula,  objecting  to  the  proposal,  was  thrown 
into  prison  and  his  property  confiscated.  He  appealed 
to  Hastings  for  help,  on  the  ground  that  he  had  always 
been  known  as  a  favourer  of  the  English,  and  Hastings 
remonstrated  with  the  Emperor.  It  was  at  this  time 
that  he  felt  most  strongly  the  temptation,  to  which  he 
refers  in  Letter  XXIV.,  to  "  conduct  the  Prince  with  a 
military  Force  to  his  Father,  and  .  .  .  effect  both  his 
Establishment,  and  the  King's  Deliverance  from  the 


SERIES   III. — AFFAIRS    OF    BENARES.  289 

Control  under  which  he  now  labors."  He  points  out 
vigorously  in  his  letters  the  danger  to  the  Company's 
dominions  that  would  be  involved  in  the  rise  of  a  new 
adventurer,  such  as  Afrasiab  Khan,  if  the  House  of 
Timur  were  destroyed,  emphasizes  the  weak  and  passive 
spirit  of  the  Emperor,  always  under  the  dominion  of 
whisperers  and  incendiaries,  and  suggests  that  if  he  must 
be  controlled,  the  control  may  as  well  be  in  English 
hands.  He  does  not  wish  to  send  armies  to  free  the 
royal  house  from  the  rule  of  Afrasiab  Khan,  but  merely 
to  visit  Delhi  with  an  escort  strong  enough  to  allow  him 
to  dictate  terms.  The  scheme  was  so  like  that  which 
culminated  in  the  Benares  alarm  of  1781  that  it  seems 
strange  he  should  have  been  prepared  to  venture  upon 
it,  for  had  it  failed,  his  position,  so  far  beyond  the 
borders  even  of  Oudh,  would  have  been  hopeless,  but 
the  prospect  of  establishing  a  strong  state,  as  a  check 
both  upon  the  Marathas  and  the  Sikhs,  seemed  to  him 
worth  the  risk,  independent  of  the  interest  inspired  in 
him  by  the  character  of  Jiwan  Bakht.  His  intentions 
were,  however,  frustrated  by  the  anxious  and  cautious 
letters  of  June  8th  which  he  received  from  his  less 
imaginative  colleagues,  who  repeat  earnestly  the  desire 
they  had  previously  expressed  that  the  Shahzada  may 
be  sent  back  to  his  father  without  delay.  Far  from 
using  British  troops  to  conduct  him  back  in  triumph, 
the  Governor- General  is  fervently  exhorted  not  to  commit 
the  Company  even  so  far  as  to  allow  him  to  reside  in  any 
of  their  territories.1 

A  possible  means  of  saving  the  situation  was  suggested 
by  the  arrival  of  Sindhia's  minister,  Bhow  Buxy  (Bhau 
Bakhshi),  at  Lucknow.  Hastings  rode  out  to  meet  him, 
as  the  ambassador  of  a  friendly  power,  and  long  and 
complicated  negociations  ensued.  Hastings  relates,  in 
describing  his  daily  engagements,  that  the  Nawab- Vizier 
always  breakfasted  with  him,  and  that  he  often  visited 

1  State  Papers,  and  Hastings  to  Scott,  Gleig,  III.  185. 
T 


2QO  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

him  in  the  evenings,  while  the  Prince  desired  his  presence 
much  oftener  than  he  could  afford  to  give  it.  Besides 
Bhow  Buxy,  he  was  in  constant  communication  with 
Asaf-u-Daula's  two  ministers,  the  Nawab  of  Farrukhabad, 
two  ministers  of  the  Emperor,  and  other  visitors  of  in- 
ferior note,  while  he  was  perpetually  being  dragged  away 
from  his  work  to  take  part  in  ceremonials  at  a  distance 
from  the  city.  However,  the  plan  mentioned  in  Letter 
XXIV.  took  shape  at  last.  The  respectful  correspon- 
dence with  the  Emperor  continues.  When  Hastings 
receives  from  him  "the  orders  binding  as  fate,"  he 
"  makes  the  forehead  of  Prostration  shining  by  touching 
the  Ground."  On  the  reception  of  another  letter,  he 
writes,  "  Of  the  Commands  of  the  Glorious  Presence 
which  were  delivered  to  Major  Browne  I  have  been 
informed  in  every  particular,  and  have  respectfully  laid 
them  on  my  head  and  Eyes."  At  the  same  time  he 
advances  a  step  towards  his  plan  by  asking  that  the 
Prince's  family  may  be  sent  to  him. 

A  little  later  he  outlines  the  conditions  on  which  the 
Prince  will  return.  He  must  have  a  jaghir  allotted  to 
him,  a  place  of  strength  in  which  his  family  may  be  safe, 
and  a  guard  for  his  person — preferably  a  guard  of  British 
troops — when  he  attends  his  father.  In  return  for  these 
concessions,  Hastings  and  Asaf-u-Daula  guarantee  that 
he  will  befriend  and  protect  Afrasiab  Khan,  and  support 
him  in  possession  of  his  command,  offices,  and  assign- 
ments. The  stipulation  must  have  been  bitter  both  to 
the  Prince  and  his  English  friend,  but  it  was  inevitable. 
Sindhia  had  always  regarded  the  affairs  of  Delhi  as  his 
prescriptive  property,  and  if  Afrasiab  Khan  found  himself 
in  danger  he  would  throw  himself  into  Sindhia's  arms. 
It  was  Sindhia  upon  whom  Hastings  now  relied  to 
conduct  the  Prince  back  and  support  him,  but  he  was 
anxious  to  enlist  him  against  Afrasiab  Khan  rather  than 
in  his  favour.  The  result  was  a  carefully  arranged  system 
of  counterbalancing  weights,  Afrasiab  Khan  on  one  side 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXIV.  2QI 

ruling  the  Emperor,  and  through  him  commanding  the 
forces  of  the  state,  and  on  the  other  the  Prince,  with 
his  jaghir  and  fortress  to  which  to  retire  if  he  found 
Delhi  unsafe,  bound  by  ties  of  affection  to  Hastings  and 
of  interest  to  Sindhia,  who  was  again  united  to  the 
English  by  bonds  of  mutual  advantage.  At  first  sight 
it  would  appear  that  there  was  a  weak  spot  in  the 
scheme  in  the  shape  of  a  danger  that  Sindhia  might 
unite  with  Afrasiab  Khan  to  destroy  the  House  of  Timur 
and  divide  its  dominions,  but  apart  from  his  confidence 
in  Sindhia's  character,  Hastings  knew  that  he  had  a 
blood-feud  against  the  tyrannical  minister,  whose  tool 
Mahomet  Beg  Hummdanny  (Hamadani),  had  murdered 
Sindhia's  friend,  the  former  minister,  Mirza  Shan.  With 
infinite  patience  the  Governor-General  laboured  at  his 
scheme,  doing  his  utmost  to  safeguard  the  young  man 
who  had  so  strongly  excited  his  interest,  without  ex- 
tending Sindhia's  power  to  a  dangerous  degree,  or 
justifying  the  fears  of  his  colleagues  by  "committing 
the  Company,  either  as  to  their  arms  or  treasure." 
"  Thus  far  I  have  done  what  I  never  yet  did,  negociated 
without  the  Means  either  of  exciting  Hope,  or  of  Intimi- 
dation," he  writes  to  Wheler.  The  task  was  still  un- 
finished when  the  time  came  for  him  to  quit  Lucknow. 


LETTER  XXIV. 

SIR  EDWARD  HUGHES,  the  Admiral  commanding  on 
the  East  India  Station,  was  an  old  friend  of  Hastings. 
Writing  to  him  shortly  before  his  wedding,  he  says,  "  My 
best  wishes  attend  Mrs  Imhoff,"  and  after  it  he  sends  her 
his  respects.  There  are  many  letters  from  him  in  the 
Correspondence,  generally  containing  intelligence  as  to 
the  arrival  or  forwarding  of  packets.  His  fondness  for 
the  society  of  the  Nawab  of  Arcot,  as  already  noted,1 

1  See  supray  p.  171. 


2Q2  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

gained  for  him  from  the  '  Bengal  Gazette '  the  nickname 
of  "  Sir  Edward  Durbar,"  but  it  enabled  him  at  different 
times  to  send  valuable  information  to  Bengal.  He  co- 
operated with  Coote  during  the  Carnatic  War  in  a 
plodding  and  painstaking  way,  gaining  various  minor 
successes,  but  not,  apparently,  achieving  anything  com- 
mensurate with  the  force  he  possessed.  He  captured 
Negapatam  (with  the  aid  of  Munro's  troops),  and 
Trincomalai  from  the  Dutch,  fought  an  indecisive 
action  with  the  French  fleet  under  Suffrein  off  the 
Coromandel  Coast  in  February,  1782,  taking  the 
transport  Lauriston  and  releasing  a  number  of  English 
merchantmen  which  had  been  captured,  and  another 
off  Cuddalore  in  June,  1783. 

MR  DE  BUSSY  was  the  famous  Marquis  de  Bussy, 
whom  Coote  had  taken  prisoner  at  the  battle  of 
Wandiwash  in  1760.  He  was  sent  out  again,  at  a 
very  advanced  age,  in  1782,  to  take  command  of  the 
3000  French  troops  acting  with  Haidar,  but  he  had 
lost  his  old  fire,  and  acted  rather  as  a  drag  upon  them 
than  a  stimulus.  When  Coote  made  his  last  voyage  to 
Madras,  he  was,  says  Lord  Thurlow,1  "wishing  most 
anxiously  to  retain  life  long  enough  to  take  Mr  Bussy 
a  second  time."  When  the  news  of  the  treaty  of 
Versailles  arrived  after  Coote's  death,  the  arrangements 
for  the  cessation  of  hostilities  in  India  were  made  with 
Bussy,  and  the  most  amicable  relations  followed.2 

RICHARD  HART  BODDAM  (misspelt  Bodham  by  Gleig), 
was  chief  first  of  the  Surat  factory,  and  then  of  Bombay. 
As  an  old  friend,  Hastings  employed  him  constantly  in 
forwarding  letters.  Their  tastes  were  similar,  and 
Boddam  sends  Hastings  a  number  of  facts  collected 
by  his  interpreter,  Malet,  with  the  view  of  elucidating 
Orme's  account  of  the  Marathas.  Bussora  was  con- 
sidered to  be  from  fifty  -  eight  to  sixty  -  three  days' 
journey  from  England. 

1  Debates.  2  State  Papers. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  XXIV.  2Q3 

NATHANIEL  BRASSEY  HALHED  was  a  friend  of 
Sheridan's,  and  his  rival  for  the  hand  of  Miss  Linley.1 
Reaching  India  as  a  writer  in  1772,  he  became  noted 
for  his  linguistic  attainments,  but  was  obliged  to  retire 
after  only  a  short  period  of  service.  He  married  Helena 
Ribaut,  daughter  of  a  former  Governor  of  Chinsura.  In 
1784  it  is  announced  that  he  is  coming  back  with  re- 
covered health,  and  that  his  extraordinary  abilities  and 
past  services  are  to  be  rewarded  by  the  first  vacant  seat 
on  the  Board  of  Revenue.  He  was  appointed  the 
Nawab-Vizier's  agent  in  England,  and  while  at  home, 
assisted  Hastings  in  preparing  his  defence,  not  altogether 
with  success.  "  The  Benares  charge,"  says  Lord  Thur- 
low,2  "  was  entrusted  to  Mr  Halhed,  a  gentleman  of 
splendid  abilities,  and  great  information,  but  of  too 
high  a  genius  to  attend  minutely  to  the  strict  accuracy 
of  his  facts,  and  certainly  better  calculated  to  explain  a 
prophecy,  if  Mr  Hastings  had  wanted  him  for  such  a 
purpose,  than  for  a  laborious  investigation  of  the  Com- 
pany's records."  His  letters  show  him  to  have  possessed 
an  extraordinarily  inflated  style,  and  the  mystical  strain 
in  his  character  is  evidenced  by  his  fervid  support  of  the 
mad  fanatic  Brothers. 

The  LABOR  of  which  Hastings  complains  was  of  course 
the  restoration  of  the  Prince.  "  How  unhappily  am  I 
situated,"  he  laments  to  Wheler,  "with  so  much  expected 
and  claimed  from  me,  and  without  power  or  trust ! " 
His  depression  was  increased  by  the  fact  that  he  dis- 
covered in  himself  "  a  procrastinating  state  of  mind, 
caused  by  a  most  deadly  languor." 

LT.-COLONEL  ARTHUR  AHMUTY  or  ACHMUTY  was  in 
command  at  Bankipur  in  1781  and  at  Chanar  in  1784. 
Grand  served  under  him  in  his  early  days,  and  men- 
tions in  illustration  of  the  simplicity  of  his  character 
that  when  taking  part  in  a  field-day,  he  refused  to 
allow  his  men  to  break  and  disperse  as  he  was 

1  D.  N.  B.  2  Debates. 


2Q4  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

ordered,  declaring  that  Ahmuty's  had  never  run  away 
yet,  and  he  would  not  teach  them  to  do  so,  persisting 
unmoved  in  this  resolution.  He  died  at  Dinapur  in 

J793- 

The  Prince's  ELOPEMENT  refers  merely  to  his  escape 
from  Delhi,  not  to  his  entanglement  with  the  woman 
mentioned  just  before. 

The  NEWS  PAPER  PARAGRAPH  referred  to  has  been  cut 
out  and  attached  to  the  MS.,  and  reads  as  follows : — 

"A  report  has  been  industriously  circulated  with  a 
view  of  prejudicing  the  cause  of  Mr  Hastings  in  the 
opinion  of  his  respectable  constituents,  that  some  of  his 
friends  mean  to  move  a  resolution  on  Friday  next,  for 
settling  upon  him  the  late  Lord  Clive's  jaghur  (sic), 
which  is  now  on  the  point  of  expiring.  This  jaghur  is 
£30,000  a  year,  a  sum  so  enormous  that  it  never  could  or 
did  enter  into  the  head  of  any  friend  of  Mr  Hastings  to 
bring  forward  so  extravagant  or  so  barefaced  a  proposi- 
tion to  the  consideration  of  a  General  Court ;  but  the  fact 
is  that  in  conversation,  and  conversation  only,  some  very 
respectable  and  independent  Proprietors  have  observed, 
that  the  falling  in  of  Lord  Clive's  jaghur  this  year  might 
give  the  East  India  Company  a  favorable  opportunity 
of  rewarding  the  services  of  Mr  Hastings,  by  settling 
upon  him,  when  he  quits  India,  a  fifth  or  a  sixth  part  of 
the  amount  of  it  annually  for  his  life,  supposing  it  should 
appear  as  it  is  generally  understood,  that  his  fortune 
is  very  inadequate  to  his  station.  This,  however,  could 
form  no  part  of  the  business  of  the  General  Court  on 
Friday,  which  is  expressly  summoned  to  consider  the  late 
advices  from  Bengal,  at  the  request  of  Nine  Proprietors : 
'  On  special  affairs,'  being  an  insertion  of  the  Court  of 
Directors." 

The  ROYAL  CHARLOTTE  was  the  vessel  in  which 
Captain  Phipps  was  returning  to  Madras,  having  left 
St  Helena  in  June.  It  is  uncertain  whether  this  was 
the  vessel  of  the  same  name,  commanded  by  Captain 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXIV.  2Q5 

Joseph  Price,1  which  was  taken  up  by  the  Bengal 
Council  in  1778,  when  preparations  were  being  made 
for  war  with  France. 

PATTAMARS  were  despatch  -  boats.  The  word  meant 
originally  express  messengers,  but  it  is  soon  transferred 
to  vessels,  which  were  employed  either  to  carry  news 
swiftly,2  or  to  patrol  a  dangerous  area.3 

The  paragraph  respecting  the  friends  of  RICHARD 
JOHNSON  is  considered  by  Dr  Busteed  "  very  suggestive 
of  the  secrecy  and  caution  which  were  characteristic  of 
Hastings."  It  is  difficult  to  believe  that  the  most  in- 
cautious of  men  would  not  have  felt  prudence  advisable 
in  view  of  the  reported  intrigues  of  two  men  on  whom  he 
had  lavished  benefits,  and  who  had  both  disappointed 
him,  while  Johnson  was  writing  him  affectionate  letters 
at  this  moment. 

COLONEL  ANTHONY  POLIER  was  a  Swiss  engineer 
officer,  belonging  to  the  Company's  army,  but  attached 
to  the  service  of  the  Nawab- Vizier.  When  engaged  in 
surveying  work  and  the  construction  of  the  fortifications 
of  Faizabad  under  Shuja-u-Daula  in  1774,  he  took  part 
in  the  capture  of  Agra  from  the  Jats  by  that  prince  and 
Najif  Khan,  for  which  he  was  afterwards  severely  cen- 
sured by  the  Majority.  He  shared  Hastings'  taste  for 
Eastern  literature,  as  is  shown  by  a  letter  of  his  written 
in  1786,  in  which  he  promises  to  bring  the  plan  and 
elevation  of  Cleveland's  monument  to  England  with 
him,  and  speaks  of  "a  Moracka  of  fine  Oriental 
writings."  He  was  killed  in  1794. 

Hastings'  ATTORNEYS  in  England  were  his  brother-in- 
law  Woodman,  Sir  Francis  Sykes,  and  William  Waller. 
Between  the  two  latter  a  bitter  hostility  existed.  They 
would  now  be  called  trustees,  as  their  duty  was  to  receive 
the  sums  he  sent  home,  pay  what  he  owed,  and  invest 
the  remainder.  They  complain  continually  at  this  time 
of  the  difficulty  of  raising  money.  Hastings  had  re- 

1  See  infra,  p.  349.  2  Yule  and  Burnell.  3  Forbes. 


296  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

quested  them  to  have  £2000  ready  by  the  end  of  June, 
"  to  answer  Mrs  Hastings'  immediate  occasions  on  her 
arrival  in  England,"  but  they  write  that  although  his 
mortgages  bring  in  £3000  a  year  the  principal  cannot 
be  touched.  With  the  usual  lack  of  understanding  as 
to  his  financial  position,  they  recommend  him  to  send 
home  a  remittance  of  diamonds,  sufficient  to  pay  all 
outstanding  demands,  and  leave  him  £8000  or  £  10,000 
to  provide  for  his  own  expenses  on  his  return. 

The  SEAL  for  Mrs  Hastings  must  be  the  ruby  already 
mentioned.  Hay  says  on  March  22nd,  "  Colonel  Morgan 
arrived  here  early  this  Morning,  and  I  carried  to 
Thompson  the  Seal  which  you  gave  into  the  Colonel's 
Charge,  containing,  I  think,  Mrs  Hastings's  Titles,  but 
this  is  also  too  late  to  go  by  the  Oxford." 

LUCNOW.     \yh  August,  1784. 

(Endorsed,  "  Received  April  i8th,  1785.") 
MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  write  because  the  Time  is 
long  since  I  wrote  last,  but  am  uncertain  whether  I  shall 
meet  with  a  ready  Conveyance  for  my  Letter. — On  the 
loth  I  received  a  Letter  from  our  good  Friend,  Sir 
Edward,  in  which  he  informed  me  that  he  had  received 
a  Packet  from  me  designed  for  the  Eurydice,  which 
(the  Eurydice  not  sailing)  he  had  entrusted  to  Mr  de 
Bussy  to  be  dispatched  in  a  Frigate  which  was  to  leave 
Pondicherry  about  the  End  of  July,  enclosing  it  in  a 
Packet  of  his  own  directed  to  the  E.  (English)  Embas- 
sador  at  Paris. — By  that  Channel  you  may  receive  Two 
Letters  from  me  dated  about  the  I3th  June,  and  num- 
bered 21  and  22. — Mr  Boddam  has  acknowledged  the 
Receipt  of  Two  others,  dated  the  i5th  and  i7th  May, 
and  numbered  19  and  20,  at  Bombay,  and  had  dis- 
patched them  both  separately  to  Bussora  on  the  28th 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXIV.  2Q7 

June.  He  supposed  that  they  might  reach  Bussora  by  the 
3ist  of  July,  and  I  hope  you  will  get  them  by  the  Middle 
of  October. — My  last  was  written  the  4th  July,  No.  23, 
and  dispatched  to  Mr  Boddam,  to  take  the  Chance  of 
his  first  Dispatches,  whether  by  Land  or  Sea.  It  con- 
tained nothing  material,  but  that  I  was  well  to  the 
Period  at  which  it  was  written. — This  is  the  History 
of  my  4  last  Letters. 

I  was  going  to  add,  but  omitted  it,  that  I  write  this 
on  the  Promise  given  me  by  Sir  Edward  Hughes  that 
either  the  Greyhound  Sloop,  or  some  other,  should  be 
ready  to  carry  my  next  Letters. 

I  wish  to  say  a  thousand  Things  to  you  which  cannot 
be  written.  My  Mind  is  continually  racked  by  Sug- 
gestions not  warranted  by  any  reasonable  Grounds  of 
Apprehension.  The  only  Complaint  which  has  affected 
me  in  any  Degree  since  my  Residence  at  this  Place  is 
a  nightly  Oppression,  which  of  Course  raises  horrid 
Sensations,  and  Images  of  Terror,  which  form  the  Sub- 
stance of  my  Dreams  made  up  with  the  one  Subject 
which  is  ever  present  both  to  my  waking  and  sleeping 
Thoughts;  and  their  Impression  constantly  repeated, 
without  any  Change  that  might  relieve  it,  has  cast  a 
Gloom  upon  my  Mind  which  my  Reason,  though  it  sees 
the  natural  Cause,  cannot  shake  off.  —  Other  Causes 
have  contributed.  I  cannot  but  think  that  C.  (Captain) 
Cooper  would  have  sought  the  Track  of  the  outer  bound 
Ships,  if  he  had  such  Intelligence  to  send  by  them  as 
would  be  welcome  to  me.  —  Scott  writes  that  the 
Ministers  would  write  to  me  in  his  Majesty's  Name  to 
put  off  my  Departure  to  another  Year ;  and  Halhed  tells 
me  that  it  is  the  Expectation  of  all  my  Friends  that  I 


298  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

shall  stay. — My  whole  Life  has  been  a  Sacrifice  of  my 
private  Ease  and  Interests  to  my  public  Duty,  and  to 
more,  to  public  Opinion ;  and  this  Requisition  may  come 
to  me  in  such  a  Form  as  to  have  the  Force  of  an  Obli- 
gation. In  that  Event  I  shall  bid  everlasting  Farewell 
to  all  my  Hopes,  for  the  Period  which  Nature  has  fixed 
for  the  Duration  of  my  Service  is  already  past,  and  the 
Attempt  to  prolong  it  to  another  Season  must  end  me ; 
or  which  would  be  worse,  send  me  home  laden  with 
Infirmities ;  besides  other  Hazards. — But  if  I  am  simply 
enjoined  or  requested  to  stay,  I  will  pay  no  Regard  to  it. 
I  am  thwarted  in  everything  that  I  undertake  by  the 
Members  of  the  Council,  who  do  nothing  themselves  to 
compensate  for  what  they  disable  me  from  performing. 
I  could  not  stay  another  Year  linked  with  such  Asso- 
ciates without  the  certain  Loss  of  Reputation,  and  the 
Risk  of  worse.  I  would  not  for  the  Wealth  of  a  King- 
dom again  pass  through  the  same  Scene  as  I  have  acted 
in  during  the  Course  (yet  unfinished)  of  this  Year.  A 
Labor  has  been  exacted  from  me  which  required  that 
I  should  possess  all  the  Powers  of  my  Station,  and  I 
am  peremptorily  and  absolutely  interdicted  the  Use  of 
any  One  of  them.  In  Default  of  these  I  am  reduced 
to  the  Necessity  of  employing  the  Weight  of  my  private 
Character,  and  popular  Interest,  with  the  Hazard  of  los- 
ing both  in  the  Attempt,  by  the  Failure  of  it. — What 
the  Event  will  be,  I  will  not  conjecture.  I  am  not  apt 
to  despond,  and  as  I  never  suffer  my  own  Interests  to  mix 
with  my  public  Business,  I  have  hitherto  surmounted 
all  my  past  Difficulties  and  therefore  do  not  despond  of 
the  present. 

I  have  nearly  seen  completed  the  Business  for  which 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  XXIV.  2QQ 

I  expressly  came  to  Lucnow,  and  have  fixed  upon  the 
27th  of  this  Month  for  my  Departure.  My  Boats  will 
wait  for  me  at  the  nearest  Station  of  the  Ganges,  about 
50  Miles  off,  called  Doondia-cary.1 — I  shall  march  this 
short  Distance  by  four  Stages ;  for  the  Nabob  has  in- 
sisted on  accompanying  me  as  far  as  Illahabad ;  and  I 
shall  be  (to  vary  the  Term  to  a  more  correct  Expression) 
the  Prince's  Attendant  to  Benaris.  Curiosity  will  detain 
me  one  Day  at  Illahabad,  and  the  Hospitality  of  Colonel 
Ahmuty  another  at  Chunar. 

My  Residence  at  Benaris  will  be  uncertain.  I  shall 
have  some  Business  there  relating  to  the  District  itself; 
and  I  must  wait  some  Time  at  least,  if  necessary,  for  the 
Event  of  the  Negociations  which  I  have  employed  for 
the  Prince's  Return  to  his  Father's  Court.  If  that  can 
be  effected,  I  shall  part  with  him  at  Benaris.  If  not,  I 
shall  either  leave  him  there,  or  I  fear,  for  such  is  his 
constant  Declaration,  be  obliged  to  take  him  with  me 
to  Calcutta. 

In  One  Respect,  I  am  most  fortunate.  After  a  most 
dreadful  Continuance  of  the  dry  Weather,  and  Appre- 
hensions daily  growing  of  a  total  Failure  of  the  season- 
able Rains,  they  at  length  set  in  on  the  loth  of  the  last 
Month,  falling  heavily,  and  without  Intermission,  during 
Nineteen  Days. — The  River  swelled  to  such  a  Degree  as 
to  lay  every  Street  of  the  City  under  Water,  and  as 
suddenly  shrunk  back  to  its  narrow  Channel  on  the 
Rain's  ceasing.  It  has  begun  again,  and  seems  likely 
to  last.  At  all  Events,  what  has  already  fallen  is  suffi- 
cient to  ensure  a  plentiful  Harvest,  and  the  Expectations 
of  all  are  most  sanguine. — I  have  already  described  the 

1  Daundia  Khera. 


300  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Face  and  State  of  the  Country.  I  can  convey  no  Idea 
of  the  Sufferings  of  Individuals.  The  Roads  and  Streets 
have  been  for  some  Months  covered  with  emaciated 
Wretches  who  have  flocked  from  all  Quarters  to  the 
Capital  for  Subsistence.  Multitudes  of  these  have  per- 
ished notwithstanding  the  Bounty  which  attracted  them, 
and  their  Number  is  encreasing,  for  the  favourable 
Appearance  of  the  Season  can  promise  but  a  future  and 
remote  Relief.  It  pains  me  to  go  abroad  to  hear  the 
Cries,  and  see  such  Spectacles  of  human  Misery.  Yet 
these  are  chiefly  the  aged,  infirm,  blind,  sick  and  in- 
dolent, whose  Loss,  though  Humanity  may  regret  it, 
can  be  best  borne  by  the  Community :  And  at  Dehly 
Major  Browne  assures  me  that  the  Numbers  that  die 
in  the  Streets  exceed  those  at  Lucnow  by  100  to  One. 
This  Calamity  is  not  the  Effect  of  One  Season.  The 
three  last  Years  have  all  failed,  and  almost  universally 
from  the  Border  of  Bengal,  which  had  also  its  Share, 
to  the  Lands  which  extend  beyond  Lahore.  Yet  under 
such  adverse  Circumstances  has  my  hard  Fortune  im- 
posed on  me  the  Obligation  of  clearing  off  the  Debt 
contracted  by  the  Nabob  Vizier  with  the  Company, 
though  the  Accumulation  of  Years  of  Plenty;  And  I 
am  sanguine  in  my  Hopes  of  accomplishing  it.  The 
Nabob  behaves  well,  and  affects  to  repose,  as  I  verily 
believe  he  does,  an  implicit  Confidence  in  me.  It  will 
be  a  curious  Circumstance  to  be  related  in  the  History 
of  this  Country,  if  nothing  happens  in  the  short  Interval 
which  is  left  of  my  Visit,  to  contradict  it,  that  the  Nabob 
Vizier  and  myself  marched  together  many  Days  with  our 
Baggage,  Troops  and  Camps  intermixed,  lived  together 
in  the  same  City  5  Months,  and  near  four  of  that  Period 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXIV.  301 

within  the  same  Walls,  and  I  may  say,  in  the  same 
House,  with  our  separate  Guards,  Families  and  Domes- 
tics ;  and  that  in  all  that  Time  not  the  least  Disagree- 
ment or  Symptom  of  ill  Humour  has  passed  between  us, 
or  the  slightest  Quarrel  between  our  Dependants.  Yet 
there  have  not  been  wanting  Occasions  which  might, 
with  a  Disposition  less  gentle  or  less  reasonable  than 
his,  have  lessened  his  good  Humour  towards  me,  though 
I  have  always  behaved  to  him  with  the  utmost  Kindness 
and  Attention.  He  seems  sensible  of  it ;  he  is  far  from 
deficient  in  Understanding,  his  Manners  are  in  an  extra- 
ordinary Degree  polite,  and  I  do  not  know  a  better 
tempered  or  a  better  humored  Man.  Since  my  Arrival 
the  most  profound  Tranquillity  has  prevailed  throughout 
his  Dominions,  though  the  most  turbulent  spirit  has  ever 
raged  among  his  Zemidars.1  I  shall  hope  to  leave  him 
with  a  confirmed  Authority,  and  an  encreasing  Revenue, 
and  a  well  regulated  Government, — provided  no  future 
Bristow  be  sent  to  disturb  it :  And  it  will  be  dangerous 
to  disturb  it. 

I  fear  the  Prince  will  remain  a  dead  Weight  on  my 
Hands.  The  Means  which  I  have  employed  to  free 
myself  from  him  are  such  as  I  would  not  have  used 
but  from  absolute  Necessity,  and  are  against  every  Rule 
of  Policy  by  which  I  have  ever  regulated  my  Conduct. 
The  Members  of  the  Board  have  "  exhorted"  me  (this 
is  their  Term)  to  use  every  possible  Exertion  to  effect 
his  Return  with  "Safety  and  Honor"  to  his  Father, 
and  yet  refuse  me  the  Means,  forbidding  me  to  use 
any  military  Authority,  and  denying  me  the  Power  of 
treating.  In  this  Perplexity  I  have  made  Trial  of  my 

1  Hastings  always  omits  the  n  in  this  word  also. 


3O2         LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

personal  Influence,  and  committed  the  chief  Execution 
of  my  Plans  to  a  foreign  Hand,  to  Madajee  Sindia,  the 
Maratta  Chief,  who  has  promised  to  accomplish  them 
to  the  utmost  of  my  Wishes.  It  will  afford  a  most 
curious  Anecdote  of  my  political  Life,  if  he  does ;  but 
I  have  no  other  Resource.  I  have  stronger  Evidences 
of  his  Fidelity  than  Grounds  of  Distrust ;  I  do  but 
commit  to  another  the  Charge  of  doing  what  I  cannot 
do  myself;  and  if  he  deceives  or  fails  me,  I  am  but 
where  I  should  be  had  I  not  made  the  Trial. — This  is 
the  Difficulty  to  which  I  allude  in  the  3rd  Page  of  this 
Letter.  I  have  been  strongly  tempted  at  a  desperate 
Hazard  to  conduct  the  Prince  with  a  military  Force 
to  his  Father,  and  am  morally  certain  that  I  could 
effect  both  his  Establishment,  and  the  King's  Deliver- 
ance from  the  Control  under  which  he  now  labors, 
with  little  Difficulty;  but  the  Possibility  of  my  not 
being  able  to  accomplish  it  before  it  could  be  known 
and  counter -orders  received  from  Calcutta,  and  the 
certain  Assurance  that  as  soon  as  known  they  would 
put  a  Stop  to  it,  deterred  me.  Otherwise  I  could  have 
ventured  it,  and  set  them  at  Defiance.  I  have  missed 
an  Opportunity  of  closing  my  Government  with  an  Act 
that  would  have  reflected  a  lasting  Honor  on  my  Repu- 
tation in  India,  and  been  generally  applauded  at  Home ; 
but  it  might  have  entangled  me  in  Consequences 
that  would  oppose  the  first  Wish  of  my  Heart ;  and 
all  Things  considered,  I  believe  that  my  Disappoint- 
ment may  prove  more  favourable  to  my  own  Happiness 
than  any  Event  that  I  could  have  derived  from  fuller 
Powers;  nor  will  my  Conscience  reproach  me  with  the 
Want  either  of  Inclination  or  Exertion.  The  Prince's 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXIV.  303 

Character  has  suffered  nothing  by  a  nearer  Acquaintance, 
except  by  the  Detection  of  One  Blot  in  it ;  and  that 
is  a  dreadful  One ;  an  Attachment  to  an  old  Woman 
that  he  has  picked  up  here  by  Accident,  and  on  whom 
he  squanders  the  superfluous  Cash  which  he  was  once 
eager  to  save  for  the  Relief  of  his  Father's  Distresses. — 
I  will  send  you  a  curious  History  which  he  himself  has 
written  and  given  me  of  his  late  Elopement ;  and  when 
you  read  it,  I  think  your  Pride  will  feel  for  wrhat 
mine  must  suffer  from  the  false  Estimation  in  which 
he  held  my  Consequence,  when  he  exposed  himself  to 
such  Dangers  in  his  Reliance  on  my  Power  to  restore 
the  Freedom  and  Prosperity  of  his  House. 

Among  the  many  Causes  of  Uneasiness  which  I  suffer 
in  my  present  Situation,  there  are  Two  which  I  can 
only  mention  to  you,  because  to  others  I  might  expose 
myself  to  the  Ridicule  of  giving  myself  too  much  Con- 
sequence. It  is  possible  that  the  mistaken  Zeal  of  my 
Friends  may  prompt  them  to  solicit  for  me  the  Grant 
of  Honors  or  a  Pension  which  I  may  be  compelled  to 
reject.  You  are  already  pretty  well  acquainted  with 
my  Sentiments  upon  both  these  Points. — I  should  be 
sorry  to  be  reduced  to  the  Necessity  of  doing  what 
may  be  deemed  by  others  Presumption ;  but  as  I  am 
content  to  remain  in  the  humble  Sphere  in  which  I 
was  born,  I  have  a  Right  to  refuse  whatever  shall  place 
me  in  an  improper  Comparison  with  others,  to  whom  I 
do  not  allow  an  Equality  with  me.  These  Reflexions 
have  been  thus  renewed  by  an  Extract  sent  me,  I 
forget  by  whom,  of  a  News  Paper  Paragraph,  which 
I  will  enclose  in  this.  My  Friends  may  proclaim  my 
Moderation,  but  they  mistake  in  asserting  that  I  shall 


304  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

think  my  Services  rewarded  by  the  Settlement  of  a  fifth 
or  a  Sixth  Part  of  the  Sum  of  Lord  Clive's  Jagheer 
for  Life,  or  by  ANY  Settlement  that  shall  terminate 
with  my  Life. — If  any  such  Provision  shall  be  made 
for  me,  or  any  Title  given  me  that  shall  place  me  on 
a  Level  with  his  Lordship  of  Madrass,1  even  your 
Influence,  my  Marian,  shall  not  prevail  upon  me  to 
accept  of  either. 

I  am  not  pleased  with  Scott's  going  into  Parliament, 
.and  less  with  his  annexing  to  it  the  Plan  of  securing 
his  Seat  for  myself.  I  reserve  to  myself  the  Priviledge 
of  chusing  my  own  Mode  of  Life,  and  shall  certainly 
not  prefer  One  which  shall  exact  from  me  the  Sacrifice 
of  my  Ease  and  Health,  and  at  the  same  Time  place 
me  in  a  Condition  unsuited  to  my  Talents. — Another 
Year  in  India  will  disqualify  me  to  leave  it,  by  the 
Want  of  Means  to  pay  my  Passage. 

I  continue  free  from  Sickness;  but  since  the  Begin- 
ning of  this  Month  I  have  labored  under  a  severe 
Languor,  which  though  much  abated  I  cannot  shake 
off.  It  is  the  annual  Return  of  the  Influence  of  this 
Season  on  my  Constitution,  and  has  lost  much  of  its 
Force.  —  On  the  2Oth  of  last  Month  I  was  suddenly 
seized  with  a  Fever  which  held  me  during  that  Day 
and  Night,  and  then  went  off  without  a  Return. — This 
too  seems  to  have  been  anniversary,  for  I  had  last  Year 
an  Attack  very  like  it  about  the  same  Time,  which 
lasted  a  few  Days.  —  My  Constitution  has  certainly 
acquired  much  Strength,  and  I  attribute  it  to  the 
Change  of  Climate.  I  can  now  assure  you  that  the 
Fever  which  I  had  in  1782  never  totally  quitted  me 

1  Lord  Macartney. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  XXIV.  305 

till  I  undertook  the  Journey  to  this  Place.  I  date 
my  Recovery  from  my  Arrival  at  Afzoolbaug. —  But  I 
am  morally  certain  that  I  should  not  have  found  this 
Change  in  Calcutta. 

I  cannot  suppress  some  very  uneasy  Reflexions  which 
often  pass  in  my  Mind  upon  the  Change  which  my 
Health  has  undergone  since  my  Residence  at  Chunar 
in  1781,  for  it  then  commenced,  though  I  perceived  it 
not  till  my  Return  to  Bengal  in  the  February  follow- 
ing. How  often  have  you  heard  me  declare  in  the 
most  resolute  Terms,  that  I  never  would  be  seen  by 
you  under  the  disgusting  Circumstances  of  a  State  of 
Sickness  !  Yet  the  last  Sixteen  Months  that  we  passed 
together  were  a  Period  of  continued  Illness,  or  of  a 
Habit  laboring  under  the  Effects  of  Illness.  In  all 
that  long  Interval  you  were  never  from  me;  and  where 
was  my  Resolution  ?  Major  Toone  has  often  told  me 
how  much  he  was  shocked  at  my  Appearance  when 
he  first  saw  me  after  his  Return  to  Bengal ;  and  yet  I 
was  then  thought,  and  thought  myself,  to  be  well 
recovered.  You  had  been  the  close  and  hourly  Specta- 
tor of  all  the  Changes  which  I  had  passed  through, 
my  Bosom  Associate  at  a  Time  in  which  you  ought  to 
have  been  removed  to  a  Distance  from  me,  and  what 
was  worse,  in  daily  Consultation  with  my  Physicians. 
It  is  true  that  I  am  indebted  to  my  first  Illness  for 
such  a  Proof  of  your  Affection  as  is  almost  without 
Example,1  nor  in  the  whole  Course,  or  during  the 
Consequences  of  it,  have  I  ever  perceived  any  Altera- 
tion in  that  Tenderness  which  I  before  experienced, 
and  which  constituted  the  great  and  only  Blessing  of 

1  Her  hasty  journey  from  Bhagalpur  in  flood -time. 
U 


306  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

my  Life.  Yet  I  almost  regret  that  you  did  not  leave 
me  earlier,  and  in  the  many  solitary  Moments  in  which 
my  Thoughts  dwell  on  the  Remembrance  of  those 
which  I  have  passed  with  you,  without  the  Mixture  of 
other  Subjects  (for  you  are  never  absent  from  my 
Recollection),  I  cannot  conquer  the  Apprehension  that 
having  seen  me  so  long  under  Circumstances  so  un- 
favorable, and  these  too  the  last,  and  of  Course  such 
as  must  ever  accompany  your  Remembrance  of  me, 
the  Delicacy  of  your  Affection  may  suffer,  if  it  has 
not  already  suffered,  some  Diminution. — Were  I  present 
with  you,  my  constant  Attentions,  and  the  Evidences 
which  my  Love  would  produce  every  Hour,  and  every 
Instant,  of  its  Reality,  would  prevent  that  Effect  on  a 
Heart  so  generous  as  yours  :  But  what  have  I  now  to 
support  my  Interests  in  it  during  so  long  a  Separation  ? 
You  will  remember  many  Instances  of  unguarded  Levity, 
Petulancy,  and  that  Kind  of  Indolence  which  wears  the 
Appearance  of  Indifference ;  and  I  much  fear  that  these 
will  be  more  ready  to  obtrude  themselves  in  your 
Recollection  than  those  Instances  of  my  Behavior 
which  might  excite  your  kinder  Remembrance  of  me.  I 
could  run  over  a  long  Catalogue  of  Offences  with  which 
my  Conscience  has  often  reproached  me;  and  every 
trivial  Incident  which  could  bear  that  Construction, 
and  which  escaped  my  Notice  at  the  Time  in  which 
it  happened,  now  appears  with  a  black  Dye  before 
me. — It  is  not  so  in  my  Remembrance  of  your  Behavior, 
which  I  look  back  upon  with  Love,  Respect  and  Ad- 
miration ;  and  wonder  how  I  could  suffer  whole  Hours 
(but  never  Days — there  I  must  do  myself  Justice)  to 
pass  without  seeing  you,  when  you  were  but  a  few 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXIV.  307 

Steps  removed  from  me.  Yet,  my  sweet  Marian, 
remember  with  what  Delight  you  have  known  me 
frequently  quit  the  Scene  of  Business  and  run  up  to 
your  Apartment  for  the  Sake  of  deriving  a  few  moments 
of  Relief  from  the  Looks,  the  Smiles  and  the  sweet 
Voice  of  my  beloved.  —  These  Reflexions  are  perhaps 
ungenerous ;  but  if  I  write  to  you,  I  must  write  from 
the  Temper  of  those  Thoughts  which  float  uppermost 
in  my  Mind ;  and  even  while  I  write  them  they  sub- 
side.—  Consider  what  a  Length  of  Time  has  elapsed 
since  our  Separation,  and  that  except  One  Letter 
written  four  Days  after  it,  you  have  been  to  me  as  if 
you  had  no  Existence.  It  is  now  more  than  Seven 
Months  since  I  saw  the  last  Sails  of  the  Atlas  as 
they  melted  into  nothing ;  and  another  must  pass  before 
even  by  the  most  favorable  Calculation  I  can  hope 
to  hear  from  you  by  the  Royal  Charlotte  which  I  have 
supposed  will  bring  your  Letters  from  St  Helena. 
These  may  dissipate  all  my  Apprehensions,  but  till 
then  I  expect  them  but  to  gain  daily  Strength. — I  have 
written  to  Bombay,  supposing  it  possible,  though  not 
very  probable,  that  Phipps  may  return  that  Way  on  the 
Royal  Admiral,  the  last  Ship  destined  for  St  Helena, 
and  I  have  desired  him  to  send  your  Letters  from 
thence  by  Pattamars.  I  think  it  not  impossible  that  I 
may  hear  of  your  Arrival  in  England  as  soon  as  from 
St  Helena,  if  you  perform  your  Promise  of  sending  a 
Dispatch  by  Land  as  soon  as  you  arrive.  May  God 
grant  it,  and  that  I  may  hear  that  you  were  arrived 
and  in  Health  !  I  will  suppose  every  Thing  else  that 
I  can  wish,  and  wait  patiently  the  Remainder  of  the 
Interval  which  is  to  keep  you  from  me,  cutting  off  the 


308  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Days  as  they  pass,  and  pleasing  myself  with  noting 
their  gradual  Diminution. 

I  have  resolved  to  carry  Sands  home  with  me,  and 
David  Anderson,  whom  I  prevented  from  returning  to 
England  at  the  Time  that  I  undertook  my  present 
Commission.  These  are  my  two  great  Agents.  Sands 
manages  all  my  Expenses,  and  with  such  Care  and 
Economy  that  I  shall  be  a  Gainer,  instead  of  losing, 
as  I  did  by  my  last  Expedition,  above  a  Lack  and  a 
Half  of  Rupees.  Mr  Anderson  is  no  less  useful  in  my 
public  Concerns. — Both  are  sincerely  attached  to  me, 
and  I  believe  the  same  of  my  other  Companions,  though 
certainly  not  all  in  the  same  Degree.  I  believe  that  in 
general  their  Characters  reflect  no  Discredit  on  mine, 
and  they  all  seem  to  make  it  a  Point  to  preserve  a  good 
Understanding  with  the  People  around  them,  I  mean  the 
Native  Inhabitants.  Let  Mrs  Sands  know  that  her  Hus- 
band is  well,  and  that  he  has  never  been  sick  since  he 
was  of  the  Party,  though  not  very  stout  in  Appearance. 

I  hope  you  will  have  safely  received  my  Letters  No. 
14  and  15,  with  their  Enclosures,1  for  I  often  repeat  the 
latter  for  a  Gratification  in  which  Pride  has  no  Share, 
and  please  myself  with  the  Belief  that  you  will  read  them 
with  Pleasure  from  a  similar  Cause.  I  should  be  sorry 
that  they  fell  into  other  Hands,  as  much  as  that  they 
missed  yours.  I  have  much  improved  them ;  but  shall 
keep  the  improved  Copy  till  I  see  you. 

I  have  been  privately  told  that  the  Friends  of 
Richard  Johnson  are  among  my  worst  Enemies  in 
England.  He  is  a  sad  Fellow,  if  this  is  true.  Be  on 
your  Guard  both  with  him  and  Middleton. 

1  7.  e. ,  the  two  copies  of  his  poem. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXIV.  309 

I  fear  I  shall  not  receive  Answers  to  any  but  to  a 
few  of  my  first  Letters,  if  to  those.  But  how  dreadful 
will  be  my  Situation  if  I  should  find  myself  compelled 
to  stay  in  India  beyond  my  Time  (which  God  forbid) 
and  you  should  continue  to  expect  my  Return ! 

Colonel  Polier,  who  resides  at  Lucnow  has  under- 
taken to  construct  poor  Clevland's  Monument,  and 
Colonel  Ahmuty  to  furnish  the  Stones  from  Chunar.  It 
will  be  well  executed.  I  believe  I  have  sent  you  a 
Copy  of  the  Epitaph. 

25th  August.  I  now  hasten  to  the  Close  of  my 
Letter. — I  have  surmounted  all  the  Obstacles  of  my 
Departure,  and  shall  adhere  to  the  Day,  which  is  that 
after  to  morrow.  I  have  since  I  began  my  Letter 
received  other  Letters  from  Major  Scott,  though  not 
of  so  late  a  Date  as  the  former,  in  which  he  presses 
my  Stay,  and  informs  me  that  my  Attorneys  have  dis- 
agreed about  the  Disposition  of  my  Money  entrusted  to 
them,  so  as  to  render  Part  of  it  insecure. — It  is  strange 
that  he  should  join  Two  such  Subjects  in  the  same 
Dispatch,  and  that  knowing  that  my  Expenses  accum- 
ulate by  my  Stay,  he  should  urge  it  to  the  Hazard  of 
my  Ruin  : — And  for  what  ?  Have  those  whose  Authority 
he  quotes  declared  their  Wish  to  that  Effect  ?  No.  The 
Vote  of  the  Proprietors  past  under  a  different  State  of 
Affairs,  and  was  grounded  on  Acts  done  by  me  with  my 
present  Colleagues  (who  by  the  by  had  no  Share  in 
them,  and  Two  not  in  India  when  they  were  per- 
formed). These  men  are  now  my  greatest  Enemies. 
They  do  nothing  themselves,  and  are  a  Clog  upon 
me. — Besides,  I  have  declared  my  Resolution  in  Form ; 
I  have  deferred  the  Execution  of  it  for  a  Year,  with 


310  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

such  Sacrifices  as  few  Men  would  have  made,  for  the 
Sake  of  preserving  the  national  Faith  and  my  own 
with  the  Nabob  of  Owd. — I  have  no  Pretext  now  left, 
and  how  could  I  stay  longer,  without  subjecting  myself 
to  Derision  ?  It  would  be  said  that  I  threatened  what 
I  meant  not  to  perform,  and  assume  a  Self-importance 
which  no  One  else  allows  me  in  staying  on  the  Plea 
that  my  Services  are  necessary.  This  should  be  asserted 
by  others,  not  by  me. — One  Thing  however  may  yet  de- 
tain me ;  but  it  is  not  very  probable.  The  Nabob  and 
his  Ministers  will  require  some  Security  that  I  shall  not 
leave  them  at  the  Mercy  of  my  Colleagues ;  and  it  is  my 
Intention  to  declare  my  Resolution  of  going  on  Condition 
that  the  Members  of  the  Board  will  solemnly  promise  to 
abide  by  the  Arrangements  which  I  have  made.  They 
cannot  refuse  it,  because  these  are  consonant  to  their 
original  Agreement,  nor  can  they  break  them  without 
the  Loss  of  many  Lacks  to  the  Company. — I  suppose 
too  that  they  will  not  chuse  to  hinder  my  going  from 
Affection. — If  after  all  they  shall  refuse  to  give  me  this 
Satisfaction,  I  will  stay,  though  Death  should  await  me. 

The  Season  continues  most  favourable,  and  I  go  away 
in  Confidence  that  all  will  terminate  to  my  utmost 
Wishes  and  Credit. —  In  the  mean  While  I  trust  to 
Time  for  the  Determination  of  my  own  Destiny. 

The  Languor  which  I  complained  of  has  left  me,  and 
I  am  again  very  well.  I  am  sure  of  being  better  when 
I  begin  to  travel,  though  I  am  not  quite  at  my  Ease 
between  the  Two  Great  Partners  of  my  Journey ; 1  and 
it  will  cost  me  some  Trouble  to  persuade  the  Nabob 
from  accompanying  me  as  far  as  Benaris. 

1  The  Prince  and  the  Nawab- Vizier. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  XXIV.  311 

I  grieve  that  I  did  not  transfer  the  Charge  of  my 
Affairs  in  England  from  the  Hands  of  my  Attorneys  to 
yours.  I  will  do  it  yet  by  the  first  Ship  that  sails  from 
Bengal,  if  at  that  Time  I  shall  not  have  resolved,  be- 
yond all  Chance  of  receding,  to  return  home  myself. 

My  Marian,  I  am  miserable.  Though  I  know  it  to 
have  been  impossible  that  you  should  have  written  to 
me,  yet  my  Disappointment  has  tortured  me  with  Sen- 
sations (for  I  cannot  call  them  Reflexions  of  the  Mind) 
similar  to  those  which  could  arise  from  the  worst  Sug- 
gestion of  Evil.  It  seems  as  if  I  had  totally  lost  you, 
or  (God  forgive  me)  that  you  had  totally  forgotten  me. 
I  see  you  nightly ;  but  such  is  the  sickness  of  my 
Imagination,  that  you  constantly  appear  to  turn  from 
me  with  Indifference;  nor  can  my  Reason  overcome 
the  Gloom  which  these  Phantoms  leave  on  my  Mind ; — 
for  it  is  the  Effect  of  bodily  Distemper,  independent  of 
the  Understanding.  How  hard !  My  Dreams  vex  me 
with  unreal  Evils,  and  the  real  Happiness  of  my  past 
Life  appears  as  a  Dream,  as  a  Dream  past  long  since, 
and  the  Traces  almost  effaced. 

Adieu,  my  beloved !  When  shall  I  hear  from  you ; 
and  how  do  I  know  but  that  every  Day  that  passes  till 
then  will  be  but  so  many  saved  from  a  Life  of  irretriev- 
able Misery !  May  the  God  of  Heaven  bless,  protect 
and  comfort  you !  You  too  will  have  had  your  Suffer- 
ings, and  those  perhaps  as  severe  as  my  own. 

Remember  me  affectionately  to  Mrs  Motte.  Once 
more  adieu.  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

I  will  send  you  the  Impression  of  a  most  beautiful 
Seal  which  I  have  had  cut  with  your  Titles. 


312  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

26th  August.  The  Nabob  is  resolved  in  Opposition 
to  all  that  I  can  argue  against  it  to  go  with  me  to 
Benaris;  so  that  I  shall  be  no  less  embarrassed  there 
than  here. 

27th. — I  write  this  from  my  first  half-Stage,  having 
left  Lucnow  this  Morning.  I  shall  pass  the  Day  with 
Colonel  Polier,  and  proceed  to  my  Encampment  in  the 
Evening. 

I  can  only  send  you  a  blotted  Copy  of  the  Prince's 
Narrative,  but  it  is  correct,  and  very  legible.  I  hope 
it  will  amuse  you. 


LETTER   XXV. 

This  letter  and  the  next  are  only  to  be  found  in  Gleig's 
Biography,  carefully  deprived  of  all  individual  touches 
such  as  eccentricity  in  spelling  and  in  the  use  of  capital 
letters.  What  is  worse,  it  is  impossible  to  rely  on  Gleig 
as  a  transcriber.  So  many  mistakes  are  to  be  found  in 
his  rendering  when  comparison  is  possible,  that  in  any 
doubtful  case  the  presumption  is  strong  that  he  has 
misread  his  subject's  writing. 

Of  the  return  journey  now  begun,  Hastings  writes  to 
Wheler  on  August  27th,  "  I  unwillingly  carry  the  Prince 
with  me,  for  I  dread  his  being  left  on  my  Hands;  and 
more  unwillingly  the  Nabob-Vizier,  who  accompanies  me 
by  Violence.  .  .  .  The  Rains  have  fallen  most  abun- 
dantly, and  promise  a  more  plentiful  Harvest  than  this 
Country  has  known  for  many  Years  past.  It  would 
delight  you  to  see  the  Fields  covered  with  a  Luxuriant 
Verdure,  that  Two  Months  ago  were  all  a  barren  dry 
Sand.  The  Nabob,  his  Ministers,  and  his  whole  Family, 
are  united  in  one  Determination  to  clear  off  the  Com- 
pany's Debt  in  the  Course  of  the  Year,  and  have  all 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXV.  313 

made  cheerful  Sacrifices  of  portions  of  their  own  Jagheers 
and  Allowances  to  ensure  it.  And  all  that  has  been  done, 
has  been  done  with  the  best  Humor,  and  in  the  most 
gracious  Manner."  The  dark  side  of  this  bright  pros- 
pect is  seen  near  the  beginning  of  the  following  letter, 
where  Asaf-u-Daula's  evil  companions  are  shown  regain- 
ing their  influence  over  him  even  before  he  parts  from 
the  Governor-General. 

The  Two  OTHER  FAVOURITES  are  of  course  "-the  Arab  " 
and  Soliman.  "  The  Horse  "  would  be  "  the  grey  Buggy 
Horse  "  mentioned  afterwards  by  Thompson. 

The  Nawab- Vizier's  MOTHER  AND  GRANDMOTHER  were 
the  famous  Begums,  who  had  turned  to  Hastings  for 
help  against  the  exactions  of  Bristow,  and  whom  he 
had  since  taken  pains  to  conciliate.  Their  jaghirs  had 
been  restored  to  them,  in  obedience  to  the  order  of  the 
Court  of  Directors,1  and  they  marked  their  sense  of  the 
favour,  and  of  Hastings'  courtesy  towards  them,  by  mak- 
ing "  a  voluntary  concession  of  a  large  portion  of  their 
respective  shares "  for  the  purpose  of  helping  Asaf-u- 
Daula  to  pay  off  his  debt  to  the  Company. 

The  misfortunes  of  Hastings'  BUDGEROW,  which  was 
known  at  Calcutta  as  "the  budge  row  of  budgerows,"  2 
aroused  widespread  sympathy  among  his'  friends.  Col- 
onel Ironside  writes  to  tell  him  that  he  has  sent  off 
two  of  his  most  faithful  servants  in  a  light  pulwar 
(landing -boat),  to  look  for  it.  The  dandis  were  the 
rowers,  of  whom  the  sarang  was  the  head.  The  frosh 
(farrash),  originally  a  carpet-sweeper,  acted  as  a  male 
housemaid  on  shore,  and  as  cabin  steward  on  board. 

SIR  THOMAS  MILLS  was  a  protege  of  Lord  Mansfield, 
who  had  recommended  him  to  Hastings.  He  is  recom- 
mended also  by  James  McPherson,  who  remarks  art- 
lessly that  "  the  expences  of  this  scene,  on  which  he 
exhibited  with  much  hospitality  and  attention  to  his 
friends,  have  become  too  great  for  his  finances."  He 

1  State  Papers.  2  '  Hartly  House.' 


314  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

has  made  an  abrupt  and  unexpected  departure  from 
England,  leaving  a  most  amiable  wife  and  a  family  of 
children,  who  are  happily  provided  for  independent  of 
his  embarrassments.  A  post  was  found  for  this  hospit- 
able spendthrift,  which  is  considered  "a  very  profitable 
employ"  by  the  angry  Mrs  Mary  Barwell,  who  brands 
him  as  a  "  worthless  and  contemptible  character," 
because  a  relative  of  hers,  whom  she  confesses  to  be 
"  not  agreeable  in  his  Manners,"  is  still  without  em- 
ployment. Sir  Thomas  left  Calcutta  at  the  end  of 
1785,  and  an  undated  letter  from  Major  Scott  shows 
that  he  did  so  under  a  cloud,  after  a  fracas  with 
Phipps,  and  that  he  accused  Hastings  of  prejudicing 
him  with  Lord  Mansfield  by  telling  him  the  circum- 
stances. It  appears  that  he  had  been  approached  by 
the  Managers  of  Hastings'  impeachment  as  a  possible 
witness,  and  was  trying  to  pick  a  quarrel  with  Scott 
to  excuse  himself  for  betraying  his  patron. 

MR  JOHN  SCOTT  must  have  belonged  to  a  different 
family  from  Major  Scott.  It  is  probable  that  he  was 
an  assistant  of  the  Resident  of  Benares,  as  Hastings 
mentions1  that  he  has  ordered  one  of  these  officials  to 
reside  at  Mirzapur,  to  watch  over  the  decaying  trade 
of  the  place.  Mr  Scott  writes  later  on  that  he  is  still 
trying  to  improve  the  manufactures  of  the  neighbour- 
hood, and  mentions  that  the  indigo  industry,  which  he 
founded,  is  now  in  a  very  promising  way,  and  the  pro- 
duct as  good  as  the  Spanish. 

The  PACKET  by  the  Surprise  contained  letters  from 
Major  Scott  giving  a  full  account  of  the  introduction 
of  Fox's  India  Bill  on  November  igth,  1783,  his  en- 
deavour, through  an  application  from  Sheridan  to  Hal- 
hed,  to  secure  the  neutrality  of  Hastings'  supporters, 
the  triumphant  passage  of  the  Bill  through  the  Commons 
and  its  signal  defeat  in  the  Lords,  the  resignation  of  the 
Coalition  Ministry,  and  the  purpose  of  Pitt  and  Thurlow 

1  State  Papers. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER   XXV.  315 

to  appeal  to  the  country.  The  later  letters  described  the 
General  Election  which  consolidated  Pitt's  power,  and 
asserted  the  benevolent  intentions  of  his  party  with  re- 
gard to  India,  while  entreating  Hastings  to  remain  in 
Bengal  at  any  cost.  Hastings'  friends  in  India  did  not 
share  his  pessimistic  outlook  any  more  than  did  Scott, 
for  Palmer  writes,  on  hearing  of  the  change  of  Ministry, 
"Would  to  God  that  Mrs  Hastings  had  heard  at  St 
Helena  of  the  late  Transactions  in  England.  I  think 
that  such  welcome  News  would  have  brought  her  to 
Bengal  again  with  a  stock  of  spirits  to  secure  her  Health 
until  you  should  determine  to  quit  India  together  and 
for  ever." 

The  unfortunate  introduction  of  the  Prince  to  the 
two  ladies  at  Chanar  suggests  the  experience  of  the 
Afghan  potentate  who  remarked  to  the  Viceroy  of  his 
day,  "  So  you  only  let  your  ugly  women  be  seen !  " 
MRS  SHOWERS  was  an  old  and  intimate  friend  of  Mrs 
Hastings.  They  were  born  in  the  same  year,  1747- 
Her  letters  suggest  that  she  was  a  foreigner,  as  does 
her  peculiar  Christian  name,  Melian.1  From  her  cor- 
respondence with  Hastings  in  1816  we  learn  that  she 
was  first  married  to  a  Mr  Dare.  They  were  ship- 
wrecked, and  Dare  drowned,  apparently  off  the  Coro- 
mandel  Coast,  and  Mrs  Hastings,  then  Mme.  Imhoff, 
took  Mrs  Dare  under  her  protection,  while  Hastings  stood 
godfather  to  her  infant  son.  (In  1777  Captain  Farmer 
of  the  Seahorse,  writing  to  Hastings,  sends  his  compli- 
ments to  "  Mrs  Imhoff  and  Mrs  Dair,"  among  others.) 
With  her  usual  fondness  for  match-making,  Mrs  Hastings 
arranged  a  marriage  between  the  young  widow  and  a 
Captain  Showers.  Three  sons  were  born  of  the  marriage, 
one  of  whom  was  also  named  Hastings,  which  must  have 
caused  confusion  in  the  family.  The  union  was  unhappy, 
and  the  husband  and  wife  separated,  after  "  shocking 
recriminations,"  which  seem  to  have  been  conducted 

1  The  name  is,  however,  hereditary  in  several  Irish  families. 


316  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

regardless  of  listeners,  since  Toone  says  that  he  heard 
them.  Colonel  Showers  had  a  pension,  but  refused  his 
wife  any  share  in  it,  since  she  had  left  him  of  her  own 
accord.  She  subsisted  on  what  her  sons  could  send 
her,  until  one  of  them,  an  officer  of  great  promise,  was 
killed  in  an  attack  on  a  Gurka  stronghold  in  the  Nepaul 
War.  Hence  her  sorrowful  letters,  alternately  lament- 
ing "  my  Angle  Dear  Departed  Son,  Captain  Charles 
Lionel  Showers,"  denouncing  the  unkindness  of  her 
husband,  who  has  refused  all  communication  with  her, 
and  begging  that  the  Court  of  Directors  may  be  impor- 
tuned to  grant  her  a  pension.  Hastings  sent  her  money 
for  her  immediate  necessities,  and  wrote  to  Toone  about 
the  pension.  Toone  had  little  hope  of  success,  but  he 
laid  the  case  before  the  Directors,  and  they  granted  her 
£jo  a  year,  to  begin  from  the  day  of  her  son's  death. 
There  are  later  letters  of  extreme  gratitude  from  Mrs 
Showers  and  from  her  son  Hastings  Dare,  who  was  in 
command  of  a  battalion  in  India. 

SCHROWL  is  Gleig's  perversion  of  the  word  which  he 
writes  more  correctly  "  Sukrowl  "  or  "  Suckrowl  "  a  little 
later.  Secrole  (Sikraul),  the  British  settlement  close  to 
Benares,  is  intended. 

FRANCIS  FOWKE  was  the  son  of  James  Fowke,  who 
conspired  with  Nandkumar  to  bring  a  charge  of  ac- 
cepting bribes  against  Hastings.  The  younger  man 
was  appointed  Resident  at  Benares  by  the  Majority, 
removed  by  Hastings  and  Barwell  on  Monson's  death, 
restored  by  order  of  the  Court  of  Directors,  again 
withdrawn  by  Hastings  in  I78I,1  and  again  restored 
under  stringent  orders  from  home.  His  father  asks 
leave  to  visit  his  son  and  daughter  at  Benares  in  Feb- 
ruary, 1784,  but  Hastings  refuses  it,  as  such  a  favour 
granted  to  him  would  be  considered  to  show  that  Chait 
Singh,  whose  cause  he  had  espoused,  was  to  be  restored 
to  power.  MARKHAM  had  held  the  younger  Fowke's 
office  from  January,  1781,  to  March,  I783-2 

1  See  supra,  p.  118.  2  Gleig,  III.  80. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXV.  317 

SOOREY  (properly  surahi),  is  an  earthen  water-vessel. 

MARKHAM'S  words  in  his  letter  from  St  Helena  are, 
"  Mrs  Hastings'  health  is  I  think  much  improved  by 
her  passage,  and  she  has  more  flesh  upon  her  than  I 
ever  remember  since  I  had  the  honour  of  her  acquaint- 
ance." The  news  which  caused  Hastings  such  un- 
bounded delight  in  the  letter  from  his  wife  brought  by 
Phipps  is  thus  commented  upon  in  a  letter  from  Stephen 
Sulivan,  dated  October  7th,  and  marked  Secret : — "  The 
pleasure  with  which  I  first  heard  that  Mrs  Hastings, 
after  having  so  much  to  struggle  with  on  board  the 
Atlas,  had  arrived  safe  and  in  perfect  health  at  St 
Helena,  could  only  have  been  exceeded  by  the  glow  of 
Satisfaction  which  I  have  since  felt  in  the  prospect  of 
an  event  which  I  trust  will  be  the  completion  of  your 
domestic  Felicity.  From  my  very  heart  and  Soul  I 
congratulate  you  upon  it,  and  most  ardently  pray,  that 
the  same  blessing  which  I  have  lately  experienced  in  a 
Son  may  be  yours.  .  .  .  This  Addition  was  wanting  to 
render  your  private  Sensations  as  refined  a  Source  of 
Contentment  to  you,  as  you  have  derived  long  ago  in 
your  Public  Capacity,  from  the  strictest  honor,  the 
most  patriotic  Zeal,  and  an  Integrity  superior  to  Tempt- 
ation. I  anticipate  (and  God  grant  that  you  may  realise 
them),  the  Transports  of  some  future  day,  when  in  those 
beautiful  lines  of  Virgil,  the  Father,  '  delibans  oscula 
fatur,'  &c."  The  news  must,  as  Hastings  says,  have 
very  soon  become  widely  known,  for  Palmer,  Frith,  and 
other  intimate  friends,  also  write  to  congratulate  him. 
For  the  disappointment  of  this  hope,  see  Letter  XXIX. 

CASHMEEREEMALL  was  a  famous  banker  and  merchant 
of  Lucknow,  doubtless  one  of  those  who  had  given 
security  for  the  Nawab- Vizier's  debt  to  the  Company 
in  view  of  Hastings'  visit  to  the  city.1  Hastings  had 
written  to  Scott  on  January  i8th,  before  starting  on 
his  journey,2  "  Cashmeeramull,  the  banker,  is  come  to 
Calcutta,  and  yesterday  made  me  his  first  visit.  He  is  a 

1  See  supra,  p.  253.  2  Gleig,  III.  148. 


3*8         LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

sensible  and  well  informed  man.  He  painted  the  dis- 
tracted condition  of  Oude  in  the  same  colours  that  they 
appear  in  from  every  representation  of  them,  and  urged 
the  necessity  of  my  proceeding  thither  in  person.  .  .  .  My 
own  presence,  and  nothing  else,  would  quiet  the  minds 
of  the  people,  or  give  confidence  to  the  acts  done  by 
my  instructions." 

SHAWL  HANDKERCHIEFS  are  often  mentioned  in  Dr 
Hancock's  letters  as  among  the  gifts  he  sent  home. 
There  is  no  means  of  determining  their  nature  exactly, 
but  as  Hastings  evidently  considers  them  inferior  to 
the  genuine  shawls,  it  may  be  suggested  that  they  were 
the  fringed  squares  of  silk  or  China  crape,  printed  (not 
worked)  in  shawl  patterns,  which  may  sometimes  be 
found  among  the  hoarded  treasures  of  our  grandmothers. 

(Gleig,  III.  pp.  195-211.) 

BENARES,  2$th  Septe?nbery  1784. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — My  last  letter  was  closed  the 
27th  of  last  month,  the  day  on  which  I  left  Lucknow. 
I  had  a  very  unpleasant  and  tedious  journey,  though 
but  of  fifty  miles,  to  Doondea-kery  where  my  boats  lay ; 
for  it  began  to  rain  as  soon  as  I  began  my  march,  and 
continued  almost  without  remission  to  the  2nd  of  this 
month.  The  plains  were  overflowed,  and  every  hollow 
way  became  an  impassable  river;  insomuch  that  many 
people,  and  some  of  my  own,  were  drowned  in  attempt- 
ing to  pass  the  depths,  which  but  a  fortnight  before  were 
dry  ground.  I  myself  was  obliged  to  cross  one  new  born 
river  on  a  raft  which  sunk  below  the  surface  with  my 
single  weight,  and  a  few  hours  after  wrecked  my  buggy, 
which  is  yet  lying  in  the  channel  where  it  fell.  The 
horse,  with  my  two  other  favourites,  were  swum  over, 
and  safely  landed  in  my  own  presence.  The  Nabob  was 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  XXV.  319 

with  great  difficulty  persuaded  to  return  to  Lucknow,  on 
the  2nd,  having  resolved  to  accompany  me,  not  from 
affection,  to  Benares.  We  parted  in  great  good  humour, 
and  I  do  verily  believe  that  his  feelings  and  sentiments 
do  justice  to  the  kindness  which  I  have  shown  him.  Yet 
he  is  in  vile  hands,  and  it  was  to  carry  a  paltry  point  for 
his  unworthy  favourites  that  he  was  so  earnest  to  go 
with  me,  beyond  the  personal  influence  of  his  ministers. 
These  men  have  urged  him  to  some  alarming  acts 
since  his  return,  but  without  consequence;  nor  have  I 
much  apprehension  for  his  future  behaviour.  He  well 
knows  that  if  he  loses  my  support,  he  will  be  a  ruined 
man,  and  I  have  left  Major  Palmer,  on  whom  I  can 
securely  depend,  to  remind  him  occasionally  both  of  his 
obligations  and  engagements ;  and  I  shall  stay  at  this  place 
one  month,  partly  for  the  purpose  of  guarding  against 
any  mischief  that  may  be  practised ;  and,  if  necessary, 
which  God  forbid,  to  return  to  Lucknow  for  the  last 
resource ;  I  can  be  there  in  a  journey  of  two  days ;  but 
I  do  not  suspect  that  it  will  be  necessary.  The  Nabob 
solemnly  promised  that  he  would  not  break  a  single, 
thread  of  my  arrangements,  and  these,  if  undisturbed, 
will  discharge  all  his  debts  to  the  Company  in  the* 
course  of  a  year,  and  leave  him  a  free  and  independent 
man.  His  uncle,  his  mother,  and  grandmother,  the 
most  respected  of  his  family,  are  all  in  my  interest,  and 
look  upon  me  as  the  guardian  of  their  house ;  nor  do  I 
believe  that  I  have  left  an  enemy  in  all  the  Nabob's 
dominions,  except  among  the  most  worthless,  whose 
influence  I  have  been  the  means  of  repressing.  But  to 
return  to  my  travels ;  in  these  the  prince  accompanied 
me,  or  to  speak  with  more  propriety,  I  attended  him. 


320         LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

On  the  3rd,  we  reached  the  Ganges,  and  on  the  5th,  in 
an  evil  hour,  put  off,  or  rather  attempted  it,  against  a 
strong  wind,  beating  us  on  a  lee  shore.  My  beautiful 
budgerow  became  almost  in  an  instant  a  complete  ruin. 
I  reluctantly  detail  the  particulars.  The  rudder  had 
been  broken  on  the  way,  which  the  sarang  concealed 
from  my  knowledge,  and  instead  of  repairing  the  damage, 
had  loosely  patched  and  covered  it  from  view.  The 
budgerow  was  of  course  unmanageable ;  she  was  driving 
fast  towards  the  bank,  the  dandees1  being  unable  either 
to  keep  her  off,  or  turn  her,  and  a  rapid  stream  hurrying 
her  down  at  a  most  furious  rate.  I  ran  up  to  the  poop 
to  see  what  was  the  matter,  and  no  sooner  was  my  back 
turned,  than  the  frosh  opened  every  window  which  I  had 
left  fastened  on  the  left  side,  which  was  presented  to  the 
shore,  which  the  blockhead  had  no  sooner  accomplished 
than  the  stump  of  a  tree,  which  my  evil  genius  had 
planted  for  the  purpose,  shaved  them  all  from  their  hinges 
in  less  than  ten  seconds,  with  a  crash  that  I  am  sure  you 
rnust  have  felt,  and  will  remember,  if  you  can  remember 
where  you  were,  and  what  were  your  thoughts,  at  the 
time,  which  answers  to  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  of 
the  5th  of  September,  in  the  longitude  of  Doondea-kery. 
At  the  same  instant  I  saw  the  rudder  gone,  and  the  old 
sarang  in  a  state  of  stupefaction.  It  was  a  long  time 
before  he  recovered  his  senses  enough  to  tell  me  that 
it  was  impossible  to  move  without  a  new  rudder.  I 
could  not  wait  for  so  tedious  an  operation,  nor  bear  to 
look  at  the  destruction  around  me ;  and  having  given 
vent  for  a  reasonable  length  of  time,  to  a  something  too 
intemperate  anger,  I  began  coolly  to  reflect  that  I  had 

K'Daudees/'Gleig. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  XXV.  321 

been  attended  with  a  long  train  of  fortunate  events ; 
that  it  was  the  lot  of  humanity  to  receive  a  mixture  of 
good  and  evil  in  the  cup  of  life,  and  that  it  was  well 
that  my  portion  of  the  bitter  had  been  administered  to 
me  in  a  substance  which  could  only  give  a  temporary 
affliction.  The  damage  of  a  budgerow  was  not  a  subject 
of  internal  or  lasting  grief,  and  I  said  it  was  well  if  it 
were  no  worse.  To  avoid  worse,  I  resolved  to  fly  from 
the  spot  to  which  my  ill  fortune  had  attached  itself, 
and  leave  it  to  complete  the  mischief  which  was  yet  in 
store  for  me.  Accordingly,  having  given  the  necessary 
orders  for  the  care  of  the  budgerow,  I  took  to  the 
feelchehra,  Mr  Sulivan  and  Major  Toone,  who  with  Sir 
Thomas  Mills  chanced  to  be  with  me,  accompanying  me. 
Sir  Thomas  was  sick  and  stayed.  I  called  upon  the 
prince,  made  my  excuses  to  him  for  leaving  him,  tell- 
ing him  my  melancholy  story,  and  took  my  leave.  The 
next  afternoon  at  three  o'clock,  we  arrived  at  Mirsepoor,1 
landed  and  found  Mr  John  Scott  there,  and  at  dinner. 
We  stayed  that  night  with  him,  and  renewing  our  voyage 
the  next  morning  by  daylight,  we  reached  Chunar  before 
eight.  We  were  accommodated  by  Colonel  Achmuty  in 
the  new  house  built  by  Colonel  Blair  in  the  fort,  and 
continued  his  guests  till  our  companions  joined  us.  In 
the  mean  time  I  was  alarmed  with  the  report  of  a  fresh 
calamity.  The  pinnace,2  which  your  sarang  (for  I  have 
not  yet  turned  him  away)  had  stuck  upon  every  sand 
between  Calcutta  and  Allahabad,  was  not  arrived  when 
I  left  Doondea-ke'ry  ;  and  two  gentlemen  assured  me  that 
they  had  passed  it  near  Mannicpoor3  (see  the  chart)  upon 

1  Mirzapur.  2  Absurdly  printed  "  pinnaw  "  by  Gleig. 

3  Manikpur,  Gleig  "  Manniepoor." 

X 


322  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

a  shoal  where,  as  the  water  had  fallen  considerably,  she 
was  likely  to  lie  till  the  next  rains.  I  had  no  remedy 
but  patience,  and  never  bore  misfortune  with  so  much 
philosophy.  If  you  have  ever  seen  me  otherwise,  it  was 
because  you  had  a  share  in  my  vexations,  and  because  I 
feel  more  for  yours  than  for  my  own.  In  the  mean  time 
I  indulged  in  a  long  interval  of  repose  and  comfort,  and 
had  arrived  in  time  to  intercept  a  packet  filled  with  all 
my  letters  from  England  by  the  Surprise.  These  would 
probably  have  passed  me,  had  no  accident  obliged  me  to 
deviate  from  the  quiet  track  of  my  voyage;  and  from 
these  I  learned  the  complete  overthrow  of  the  men  who 
had  been  aiming  so  much  mischief  through  me  at  the 
Company,  and  the  establishment  as  complete  of  my  own 
reputation.  On  the  nth  I  had  the  pleasure  to  see  my 
pinnace  arrive  in  safety,  and  the  prince,  who  had  met 
with  some  accidents  with  his  own,  in  possession  of  it.  I 
conducted  him  that  evening  in  great  parade  to  the  fort, 
where  a  small  mistake  was  committed  in  letting  him  see 
Mrs  Achmuty  and  Mrs  Showers.  It  was  her  fault,  and 
I  was  not  on  my  guard.  I  privately  apologized  for  it, 
desiring  him  not  to  form  his  idea  of  English  beauty  from 
these  models,  assuring  him  that  we  had  better.  I  carried 
him  the  next  morning  in  the  feelchehra  to  your  gaut,  and 
from  thence  conducted  him  in  safety  to  Mahdewdass's 
garden,  where  I  left  him  as  happy  as  a  prince  ought  to  be 
proverbially.  I  am  quartered  partly  at  Markham's  house1 
on  the  plain  of  Schrowl,  where  I  pass  the  day,  and  partly 
at  a  bungalow  of  Fowke's,  in  which  I  sleep.  Thus  ends 
this  chapter  of  my  travels,  which  may  be  properly  named 

1  Probably  the  house  still  associated  with  Hastings'  name,  and  known  as  the 
Yellow  Bungalow. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  XXV.  323 

the  chapter  of  accidents.  I  should  tell  you  that  the 
budgerow  is  now  at  Chunar,  and  I  have  the  promise  of 
seeing  her  again  very  shortly  in  a  state  of  complete 
repair. 

It  will  be  of  consequence  to  you  to  know  that,  though 
I  have  been  much  exposed  to  both  extremities  of  heat 
and  wet,  I  have  not  suffered  from  either,  having  invari- 
ably preserved  my  health  in  every  occasion  of  exertion, 
and  never  complaining  but  when  I  have  been  at  rest. 
My  complaints,  such  as  they  are,  evidently  proceed  from 
the  weather,  and  are  languor,  lassitude,  and  inactivity. 
I  eat  sparingly ;  I  never  sup,  and  am  generally  abed  by 
ten.  I  breakfast  at  six;  I  bathe  with  cold  water  daily, 
and  while  I  was  at  Lucknow  twice  a  day,  using  sooreys 
cooled  with  ice.  Though  my  mind  has  laboured  under  a 
constant  and  severe  load,  yet  the  business  which  has 
occupied  it  has  been  light,  with  no  variety  to  draw  my 
attention  different  ways,  and  with  little  vexation.  To 
these  may  be  added,  that  unless  every  body  was  in  a 
conspiracy  to  deceive  me,  all  ranks  of  people  were  pleased, 
not  because  I  did  good,  but  that  I  did  no  ill.  With 
such  advantages  I  ought  perhaps  to  be  better.  I  am 
indeed  infinitely  better  than  I  was  at  this  season  the  last 
year,  for  then  I  was  miserably  bad ;  but  the  best  health 
that  I  gain  or  can  hope  to  gain  in  India,  is  but  a  pallia- 
tive acquired  with  continual  sacrifices  and  unmanly  atten- 
tions. I  want  a  multitude  of  aids  to  cure  me  thoroughly, 
all  which  may  be  included  in  two  comprehensive  but 
comfortable  terms,  a  hard  frost  and  my  own  fireside. 

I  cannot  ascertain  the  time  that  I  may  remain  here ; 
the  business  of  the  place  need  not  detain  me  ten  days. 
But  I  must  wait  a  little  longer  to  watch  the  course  of 


324  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

the  business  which  I  have  lately  quitted;  and  I  must 
allow  a  longer  time  to  dispose  of  the  illustrious  youth 
who  has  in  so  extraordinary  a  manner  thrown  his  fortunes 
into  my  hands.  I  cannot  abandon  a  person  of  such 
eminence  who,  on  the  credit  of  my  will  and  ability  to 
serve  him,  has  voluntarily  encountered  so  many  diffi- 
culties to  get  to  me ;  and  I  feel  for  the  honour  of  my 
nation,  which  is  concerned  in  it ;  but  my  hands  are  tied, 
and  I  can  only  work  with  poor  expedients  and  borrowed 
aids.  But  my  fortune  is  in  its  flood,  and  as  the  current 
of  popular  opinion  floats  with  it,  these  together  may 
bring  about  my  decent  acquittal  of  this  charge  more 
effectually  than  anything  that  I  can  do  to  accomplish  it. 
Unfortunately  his  character  gains,  instead  of  losing,  by 
acquaintance.  His  faults  are  trivial,  and  all  grow  out  of 
his  good  qualities,  and  the  best  of  these  is  his  temper, 
which  is  incomparably  cheerful  and  accommodating  to 
every  situation  that  he  is  placed  in.  Was  he  mean,  or 
arrogant,  or  petulant,  or  unfeeling,  or  a  fool,  or  vicious, 
I  could  easily  let  him  shift  for  himself.  As  he  is  the 
reverse  of  all  this,  I  must  either  contrive  to  restore  him, 
"with  credit  and  safety"  (these  are  the  terms  of  the 
Board's  instructions),  to  his  father,  or  leave  him  here,  or 
be  loaded  with  him  to  Calcutta.  The  first  is  scarcely  to 
be  effected  but  by  means  which  I  may  not  use,  and  the 
last  I  cannot  allow  even  in  supposition ;  and  I  have  many 
great  objections  to  his  remaining  at  Benares,  which  I 
regard  as  the  place  of  my  own  peculiar  patronage,  and 
I  am  afraid  that  his  presence  and  influence  (for  he  has 
sad  people  about  him)  will  hurt  the  police  of  the  city, 
which  has  gained  me  great  and  extended  reputation. 
God  knows  how  it  will  terminate.  The  expectation  is 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXV.  325 

not  a  great  encroachment  on  my  time,  for  I  am  not  very 
anxious  to  change  the  dry  and  open  plain  of  Sukrowl  for 
the  deadly  steams  of  Calcutta  at  this  season  of  the  year ; 
nor,  was  I  in  Calcutta  at  this  time,  should  I  be  of  much 
service.  Yet  it  is  probable  that  I  shall  think  of  moving 
about  the  middle  of  October.  I  think  to  make  another 
short  visit  to  Chunar,  partly  to  gratify  the  hospitable 
inclination  of  the  good  old  colonel,1  and  partly  my  own 
curiosity,  as  I  was  unable  to  go  abroad  while  I  was  last 
there  on  account  of  the  excessive  heat  of  the  weather. 
We  have  had  a  late  repetition  of  heavy  rains,  and  hope 
we  shall  have  no  more  disagreeable  heat. 

Sir  Thomas  Mills,  whom  I  left  sick  at  the  time  of  the 
crash  of  my  budgerow,  has  been  since  in  great  danger. 
He  is  now  on  the  recovery,  and  mends  fast,  but  it  will 
be  long  before  his  constitution  can  have  got  the  better 
of  the  shock  which  it  has  received. 

The  above  has  been  written  with  a  view  to  its  being 
copied  by  another  hand,  as  I  mean  to  send  the  whole 
letter  in  duplicate,  not  for  the  value  of  what  precedes 
this,  for  if  you  can  interest  yourself  in  the  detail  of 
the  little  events  and  casualties  of  my  life,  there  is  no 
one  else  to  whom  they  would  not  be  disgusting.  I 
now  proceed  to  the  purport  for  which  the  letter  was 
intended,  and  for  which,  as  it  is  of  consequence  that 
you  should  be  fully  apprized  of  my  intentions  upon  the 
subject  of  it,  I  shall  make  a  duplicate  of  it. 

On  the  8th  instant  I  received  the  packet  of  the 
Surprise,  with  letters  dated  down  to  the  24th  of  April. 
By  these  I  received  the  first  knowledge  of  the  dissolu- 
tion of  Parliament,  and  the  confirmation  of  the  power 

1  Ahmuty. 


326  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

of  the  administration  which  then  existed.  Some  in- 
timation was  also  imperfectly  given  me  of  an  intention 
to  begin  the  new  sessions  with  a  Bill  for  the  regulation 
of  the  superior  government  of  India,  with  assurances 
that  my  credit  stood  very  high  both  with  the  Company, 
the  Ministers,  and  the  public,  and  that  new  and  distinct 
powers  were  to  be  added  to  my  office.  Scott,  in  all 
his  letters,  mixes,  with  a  natural  apprehension  for  my 
health,  and  a  feeling  for  what  I  must  suffer  in  a  pro- 
tracted separation  from  you,  both  his  own  wishes,  and 
those  which  he  assures  me  are  the  wishes  of  the  public, 
for  my  continuance  another  year  in  India.  He  will 
doubtless  have  told  you  what  he  has  written,  and  you 
will  also  know  the  more  recent  expectations  of  others 
upon  this  point,  and  these  may  deceive  you  with  wrong 
conclusions  respecting  my  own  resolution  upon  them. 
Hitherto  nothing  has  passed  which  either  has,  or  ought 
to  have  made  any  change  in  my  original  plan.  On  the 
contrary,  I  am  more  confirmed  in  my  determination  of 
leaving  India  in  January  next,  by  every  argument  which 
has  been  urged  against  it.  Major  Scott  tells  me  that 
people  are  greatly  alarmed  at  the  expectation  of  my 
going  away,  and  that  some  person  of  high  authority 
said  to  him,  "  Good  God,  what  shall  we  do  if  Hastings 
should  throw  up  the  government !  "  I  am  provoked  at 
such  exclamations,  and  almost  displeased  with  Scott  for 
being  the  dupe  of  them.  If  it  is  expected  that  I  should 
remain,  why  am  I  not  told  so  by  authority,  and  trusted 
with  the  powers  necessary  to  my  station,  and  the  ex- 
pectations which  they  build  upon  me,  that  I  may  remain 
for  some  useful  purpose  ?  To  me  it  is  apparent,  from 
every  observation  that  I  have  made,  that  it  is  not  the 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXV.  327 

wish  either  of  the  present  or  any  other  administration 
that  I  should  remain  but  as  a  cypher  to  keep  the  office 
open  for  the  gift  of  their  own  patronage.  I  am  not 
pleased  to  be  made  so  pitiful  an  instrument,  and  had 
I  no  other  reason,  this  alone  should  determine  me  to 
disappoint  those  who  treat  me  so  unworthily.  That  I 
may  not  appear  too  hasty  in  forming  this  conclusion, 
I  will  tell  you  why  I  do  it.  When  Mr  Fox  introduced 
his  Bill,  he  began  with  declaring,  for  the  satisfaction 
of  my  friends,  that  no  injury  was  intended  against  me ; 
yet  he  immediately  went  on  to  a  string  of  invective  and 
abuse  of  my  conduct  as  the  only  groundwork  on  which 
he  could  support  his  own  question,  or  prove  the  necessity 
of  wresting  the  authority  from  the  Company,  which  he 
attempted  to  show  was  insufficient  to  control  that  which 
had  been  delegated  to  me.  Mr  Pitt  with  great  ability 
defended  the  rights  of  the  Company,  but  weakened  his 
own  argument,  by  maintaining  a  profound  silence  with 
regard  to  every  argument  of  his  adversary  which  bore 
any  relation  to  me.  Had  he  replied  to  those,  he  must 
have  said  something  in  my  vindication,  and  unless  that 
vindication  had  been  as  strong  as  the  charges  which 
had  been  urged  against  me,  his  cause  would  have 
suffered  in  the  debate.  But  if  he  had  taken  this  line, 
he  would  have  put  it  out  of  his  own  power  at  a  future 
time  to  remove  me,  for  with  what  grace  could  he 
attempt  such  an  act  against  one  to  whose  merits  he 
had  himself  borne  such  ample  testimony  ?  His  private 
declarations  made  to  Major  Scott  in  his  closet  are 
mere  words,  which  cannot  be  quoted  as  binding  on  his 
future  decisions,  and  may  be  forgotten,  or  explained  to 
any  arbitrary  meaning,  and  were  perhaps  only  intended 


328  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

as  compliments  of  encouragement  from  Mr  Pitt,  who 
wanted  materials,  to  Major  Scott,  who  could  best  furnish 
them,  for  the  support  of  a  great  and  critical  question. 
He  is  now  at  liberty  to  act  by  me  as  he  pleases,  to 
reappoint  me  with  proper  powers  to  my  office,  or  to 
extend  his  own  interests  by  conferring  it  on  another 
better  able  to  repay  the  obligation.  It  was  well  known, 
when  the  Surprise  was  yet  in  England,  that  I  had  fixed 
the  period  for  my  departure,  and  that  period  must  have 
been  as  well  known.  If  it  was  expected  that  I  should 
defer  it,  I  ought  to  have  been  apprized  of  it  by  the 
only  packet  that  could  apprize  me  of  it  in  time.  I  shall 
not  probably  receive  any  subsequent  despatches  of  a 
much  later  date  before  the  month  of  November,  and 
by  that  time  I  shall  have  made  all  my  preparations,  at 
least  all  that  require  expense,  for  my  return.  I  have 
already  spent  a  little  fortune  in  changing  my  first  pur- 
pose of  returning  to  England  when  you  did,  for  one 
charge  would  have  sufficed  for  both,  both  for  the  voyage, 
and  for  our  future  household.  I  cannot  afford  to  lay 
out  another  sum  and  allow  the  purpose  of  it  to  be 
defeated.  Perhaps  it  was  intended  to  wait  till  some- 
thing more  decisive  should  have  passed  in  Parliament. 
That  cannot  have  happened,  for  it  is  not  possible,  before 
the  month  of  July,  or  at  the  soonest  very  late  in  June, 
and  at  that  season  of  the  year,  allowance  being  also 
made  for  the  time  requisite  to  prepare  the  consequent 
despatches,  no  advices  could  be  sent  to  Bengal  which 
could  arrive  there  before  next  February.  And  who  will 
say  that  I  ought  to  await  their  arrival,  in  the  uncertain 
and  surely  unreasonable  expectation  of  their  containing 
the  motives  for  my  longer  stay  ?  Or  on  what  pretext 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXV.  32Q 

can  I  wait  ?  I  have  declared  my  peremptory  resolution 
to  depart,  and  have  called  upon  the  Court  of  Directors 
to  obtain  the  nomination  of  my  successor.  The  execu- 
tion of  this  declaration  was  indeed  announced  for  the 
last  year,  but  protracted  on  account  of  the  distracted 
state  of  the  province  of  Oude,  and  my  sense  of  the 
obligation  which  it  imposed  upon  me  to  continue  for 
the  means  of  retrieving  it.  I  am  now  pledged,  or  com- 
mitted, to  use  a  more  fashionable  word,  to  give  up  my 
place;  and  if  I  do  not,  I  must  assign  some  reason  for 
not  doing  it.  I  must  either  change  my  purpose,  in 
obedience  to  authority,  or  assume  an  air  of  contemptible 
self-importance,  and  say  on  my  own  authority  that  my 
services  cannot  be  spared. 

If  I  was  to  be  asked  in  what  manner  I  could  be 
authorized  to  remain,  I  would  answer  thus: — 

The  Court  of  Directors  are  authorized  to  send  out 
what  orders  they  please  to  the  Governor -general  and 
Council,  which  the  Governor-general  and  Council  are 
bound  to  obey.  They  may  order  the  Council  to  yield 
me  the  lead,  with  the  responsibility,  in  all  points  in 
which  I  shall  think  it  of  importance  sufficient  to  assume 
both,  and  they  shall  differ  from  me.  Let  the  Directors 
issue  such  an  order,  and  require  me,  in  virtue  of  it,  to 
remain ;  let  their  superiors,  if  such  be  their  wish,  inti- 
mate it  to  the  Directors ;  and  let  it  be  personally  signi- 
fied to  each  of  my  colleagues  that  such  a  conduct  is 
expected  from  them,  with  a  similar  intimation  to  myself. 
I  am  far  from  presuming  to  expect  such  a  deference  to 
be  paid  to  me.  I  only  show  the  mode  which  might  be 
adopted  by  those  who  think,  or  affect  to  think,  more 
highly  of  me  than  I  myself  do.  And  with  such  a  mode 


33°  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

of  application  I  should  deem  myself  bound,  against 
every  consideration  of  domestic  comfort,  of  life,  and  of 
fortune,  though  I  were  now  to  sacrifice  them  for  ever, 
to  remain.  The  mode  is  obvious.  If  it  is  practised,  I 
must  and  will  remain;  if  not,  I  will  not,  though  all  my 
friends  should  unite  in  soliciting  it,  unless  you  too  joined 
them,  which  I  hope  and  believe  is  impossible.  Some- 
thing like  what  I  have  written  above,  but  not  so  full 
and  explanatory,  I  have  written  in  my  former  letters, 
if  (?  not)  in  more  than  one.  You  will  now  know  by  this 
with  certainty  whether  you  are,  or  are  not  to  expect 
me,  by  the  knowledge  which  you  will  possess  of  the 
orders  which  have  been  written  to  Bengal  within  the 
period  necessary  for  my  being  in  India  to  receive 
them. 

For  my  determination,  and  the  grounds  of  it,  as  I 
have  stated  both,  I  shall  refer  Major  Scott  to  you, 
because  I  think  it  a  subject  in  which  you  are  most 
concerned ;  and  because  I  wish  to  accustom  you  to  a 
familiar  acquaintance  with  such  as  have  a  near  relation 
to  my  reputation,  even  though  they  were  not,  as  this 
is,  connected  with  our  common  happiness.  I  could 
assign  other  motives  of  equal  weight  in  the  scale  of 
common  sense  for  my  adhering  to  my  present  purpose, 
such  as  my  declining  health,  the  loss  of  domestic  happi- 
ness, the  probability  of  rendering  this  everlasting  by  a 
longer  residence  in  a  climate  become  so  noxious  to  me, 
my  inability  to  conduct  the  necessary  measures  of  this 
Government,  with  associates  who  are  bound  in  an 
opposition  to  me,  and  will  not  act  on  their  own 
authority;  the  certainty  of  incurring  censure  for  the 
effects  of  such  an  opposition,  both  for  what  is,  and 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXV.  331 

what  is  not  done,  for  who  will  distinguish  ?  and  the 
hazard  of  some  fatal  disaster,  perhaps  of  utter  ruin,  in 
consequence  of  the  same  want  of  union,  which  is  a  want 
of  government.  Add  that  my  income  is  not  equal  to 
all  my  present  expenses ;  that  I  shall  have  hardly  a 
competency,  let  me  arrive  in  England  at  whatever  time ; 
and  that,  as  I  must  go  at  some  time,  or  yield  to  the 
course  of  nature,  I  cannot  go  at  a  time  of  more  quiet 
or  public  ease  than  the  present ;  that  it  seems  now 
necessary  to  compel  my  superiors  to  put  an  end  to  a 
state  of  suspension  which  has  now  lasted  thirteen  years, 
if  anything  will ;  and  that  it  is  yet  possible  for  me  to 
arrive  in  time  to  yield  my  assistance,  if  I  may  be  thought 
of  consequence  enough  to  be  consulted,  in  framing  some 
plan  for  the  government  of  our  possessions  in  India, 
which  may  render  them  more  profitable  and  lasting ;  or 
in  preventing  some  plan  that  may  accelerate  their  ruin. 
It  is  hard  to  see  the  good  that  I  could  do,  and  am  not 
permitted  to  do  it ;  and  harder  to  be  made  accountable 
for  the  acts  of  others,  and  to  be  regarded  as  the  only 
manager  of  affairs,  when  I  have  no  more  than  a  single 
vote  with  others  who  are  determined  to  say  no  to  all 
that  I  propose. 

So  much  for  my  public  concerns.  Read  as  much  of 
this  to  Major  Scott  as  you  think  necessary  for  his  know- 
ledge, and  store  it  all  in  remembrance  for  your  own. 
What  a  letter  have  I  written ;  and  who  that  read  it 
without  the  direction  would  suspect  it  to  be  written  by 
a  fond  husband  to  his  beloved  wife  ?  Perhaps  my  other 
letters,  if  intercepted,  would  appear  to  bear  too  much  of 
the  real  character  of  their  writer,  and  atone  more  than 
they  ought  for  the  contrary  deficiency  of  this.  But  the 


332  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

subject  and  occasion  required  it.  The  first  part  was 
intended  for  a  duplicate  by  another  hand,  and  all  that 
follows  to  this  page  for  communication.  I  have  now 
carried  forward  the  history  of  my  life  from  the  loth  of 
January  to  this  time,  comprising  the  following  parts  or 
divisions :  1st,  My  residence  in  Calcutta  to  the  I7th  of 
February ;  2nd,  My  journey  to  Lucknow,  ending  the 
27th  of  March ;  3rd,  My  residence  at  Lucknow,  a  long 
chapter,  closed  the  27th  of  August ;  4th,  Journey  to 
Benares,  I2th  of  September ;  Lastly  remain  to  follow : 
5th,  My  residence  at  Benares ;  6th,  My  return  to  Cal- 
cutta ;  7th,  Preparations  for  my  voyage ;  and  8th,  The 
voyage.  What  variations,  fortune,  or  the  will  of  God 
may  have  yet  in  store,  I  dare  not  attempt  to  conjecture. 
I  fear  a  multitude  of  unseen  obstructions,  for  the  great 
and  interesting  events  of  my  life  have  hitherto  been  ever 
regulated  by  an  influence  overruling  and  defeating  my 
determinations,  making  these  the  instruments  of  its  own 
decrees.  But,  excepting  my  separation  from  you,  I  have 
no  great  cause  to  murmur ;  but  the  contrary.  In  one 
instance  of  disappointment,  which  I  thought  at  the  time 
a  cruel  one,  I  now  believe  that  I  was  most  fortunate. 
You  will  probably  recollect  to  what  I  allude.  I  will 
flatter  myself  that  the  worst  is  past,  and  the  best  yet 
to  come  at  the  period  to  which  my  hopes  originally 
fixed  it.  I  have  yet  no  news  of  the  Royal  Charlotte, 
the  ship  expected  from  St  Helena. 

ist  of  October. — I  am  indeed  a  fortunate  man,  and 
am  tempted  to  adopt  the  term  even  to  superstition ; 
and  no  wonder,  for  the  belief  has  seized  others  long 
since,  and  universally.  The  last  sentence  of  the  pre- 
ceding paragraph  was  the  beginning  effort  of  a  con- 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXV.  333 

tinuation  of  my  letter,  and  would  probably  have  been 
followed  by  some  very  foolish  reflections,  which  were 
prevented  by  some  abrupt,  I  know  not  what  interruption. 
Last  night,  at  about  nine  o'clock,  Major  Sands  brought 
me  the  news  of  Phipps's  arrival  at  Calcutta,  and  may 
God  bless  them  both  for  it !  a  short  but  blessed  letter 
from  you,  dated  the  i5th  of  May,  the  day  of  your 
departure  from  St  Helena,  and  written  on  board  the 
Atlas.  It  tells  me  only  that  you  were  safe  on  board 
and  well,  but  it  tells  enough,  and  it  is  written  in  the 
language  of  cheerfulness  and  of  affection.  I  have  also 
letters  from  Mr  Corneille,  Markham,  and  Phipps  himself, 
which  all  assure  me  that  you  had  received  benefit  from 
the  voyage,  and  looked  better,  Markham  says,  than  he 
had  ever  seen  you.  I  am  satisfied;  I  have  no  fears  for 
what  was  to  follow.  My  dread  proceeded  from  the 
reiterated  affliction  which  you  had  suffered  from  the 
first  ceremonious  parting  with  your  friends  in  Calcutta, 
and  with  Calcutta,  to  the  departure  of  the  pilot,  and 
from  the  violence  of  the  sea-sickness,  with  poor  Cleve- 
land's death  in  addition,  acting  on  a  frame  too  delicate 
for  such  accumulated  agitations.  All  my  past  doubts, 
and  the  fixed  gloom  which  has  so  long  overspread  my 
imagination,  are  dissipated,  like  the  darkness  before  the 
equinoctial  sun  rising  on  the  plains  of  Suckrowl — (dor 
my  Marian,  allow  me  to  talk  nonsense),  and  have  given 
place  to  the  confident  hope  that  every  dreaded  obstruc- 
tion will  follow  them,  and  that  I  am  once  more  destined 
to  happiness.  I  am  already  happy;  for  as  God  is  my 
witness  that  I  prefer  your  happiness  to  my  own,  I  feel 
the  measure  of  my  present  joy  full,  with  the  information 
which  I  have  recently  received.  Captain  Phipps  writes 


334  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

that  he  had  your  orders  to  deliver  your  packet  to  me 
with  his  own  hand,  and  he  is  coming  with  it.  I  have 
written  to  accelerate  his  coming  by  relays  of  bearers  from 
two  or  three  stages  beyond  Patna ;  but  as  the  roads  have 
been  unusually  overflowed  by  the  rains  and  the  swelling 
of  the  river,  he  may  not  be  here  this  week  yet.  But  I 
have  food  enough  for  my  heart  to  feast  on  for  more 
than  a  week  to  come.  Now  gravely  attend  to  what 
follows,  and  judge  whether  I  have  not  reason  to  be 
superstitious.  The  despatches  which  Phipps  is  bring- 
ing were  closed,  and  delivered  on  the  I5th  of  May,  and 
were  the  first  which  you  have  written.  My  first  letters, 
which  were  written  for  conveyance  by  land,  and  probably 
the  first  that  you  will  have  received  written  after  my 
departure  from  Calcutta,  were  also  despatched  on  the 
I5th  of  May.  The  same  coincidence  of  dates  has  like- 
wise appeared  in  that  of  your  arrival  at  St  Helena,  and 
the  departure  of  the  Surprise  from  England,  both  on  the 
28th  of  April.  I  shall  compare  your  journal  with  my 
own  for  more  similarities. 

At  what  a  time  will  you  have  arrived  in  England !  If 
nothing  has  happened  between  the  Surprise's  departure 
and  your  landing,  to  change  the  public  opinion  of  your 
husband  (and  I  think  it  not  likely  that  it  should  have 
been  changed),  you  will  find  his  name  standing  in  high 
and  universal  credit,  and  what  a  welcome  will  it  be  to 
you  ?  I  have  now  but  one  wish  remaining — (yes,  one 
more),  viz.,  to  be  able  to  leave  the  stage  of  active  life 
while  my  fortune  is  in  the  zenith  of  its  prosperity,  and 
while  I  have  a  constitution  yet  repairable. 

I  must  repress  myself,  for  if  I  write  all  that  the  fulness 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXV.  335 

of  my  heart  is  ready  to  dictate,  I  shall  never  come  to  an 
end,  and  I  have  this  to  copy.  How  it  is  to  go,  I  know 
not.  I  shall  trust  one  to  Mr  Boddam,  and  the  other  to 
Mr  Hay  in  Calcutta,  to  be  despatched  as  each  shall 
find  means.  Adieu,  my  beloved,  my  most  deserving 
and  lovely  Marian.  May  the  God  whose  goodness  I 
have  so  wonderfully  experienced,  bless  you  with  health, 
safety,  and  comfort,  and  me  with  the  repossession  of 
my  sweet  Marian !  Amen !  Amen !  Amen !  I  never 
loved  you  so  much  as  I  do  at  this  instant,  and  as  I 
have  loved  you  since  the  delightful  news  of  last  night. 

P.S.  Remember  me  affectionately  to  Mrs  Motte. 

8th  of  October.  —  Phipps  arrived  yesterday  morning 
before  seven,  and  delivered  me  your  letter.  I  am  the 
happiest  man  living;  but  it  is  not  in  a  P.S.  that  I  can 
answer  it,  or  say — no,  nor  can  a  folio  volume  describe 
— what  my  feelings  have  been,  and  are  from  the  perusal 
of  it.  Let  me  only  assure  you  that  I  will  comply  most 
sacredly  with  your  injunctions.  I  leave  you  to  recollect 
them.  One  you  cannot  have  forgotten.  May  the  God 
of  goodness  guard  and  bless  you.  How  wonderful  has 
been  his  goodness  to  both,  and  I  will  trust  in  its  con- 
tinuance. I  will  not  believe  that  I  have  been  raised 
in  my  hopes  above  the  heights  of  mortality,  to  be  dashed 
to  the  earth  with  a  severer  fall.  Your  permission,  my 
Marian,  was  unnecessary.  All  mankind  knew  it  as  soon 
as  I  did,  and  some  before,  and  in  truth  I  think  all  the 
world  is  mad  with  joy  for  it.  But  I  forgot  (?  forget) 
myself.  I  shall  hasten  to  Calcutta,  and,  if  possible, 
leave  it  again  before  the  end  of  this  year.  Adieu,  my 
most  beloved !  Adieu. 


336  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

nth  of  October. — The  shawl  commission  which  you 
gave  to  Johnson  is  executed.  I  have  not  seen  the 
shawls ;  but  Cashmeereemall  has  brought  me  others  of 
his  own  taste,  which  are  beautiful  beyond  imagination ; 
and  I  have  countermanded  the  shawl  handkerchiefs 
ordered  in  your  letter.  Why  should  I  provide  paltry 
things  for  you,  when  I  carry  with  me  inimitables? 


337 


CHAPTER    IV. 

NOVEMBER  AND  DECEMBER,  1784. 
LETTER   XXVI. 

WHELER  had  been  ill  during  the  greater  part  of  Hastings' 
absence  from  Calcutta.  Hay  writes  on  April  3Oth  to  say 
that  "  Mr  Wheler's  complaint  is  at  the  liver,"  that  he  is 
in  less  pain,  but  very  low,  and  that  he  is  going  on  the 
river  for  his  health.  In  May  he  is  absent  from  Council, 
"  indisposed," l  but  June  8th  finds  him  again  in  his  place, 
and  Hastings,  in  his  letters,  twice  expresses  his  belief 
that  "  Mrs  Wheler's  great  care  and  attention  proved  very 
instrumental  to  his  recovery."  He  is  at  Council  on 
October  8th,  and  must  have  left  immediately  afterwards 
for  Suksagar,  where  he  broke  a  blood-vessel  and  died  on 
the  loth.  He  was  buried  the  next  day.  McPherson,  who 
was  one  of  the  party,  writes  to  give  Hastings  the  details, 
which  he  is  sure  will  wake  "that  genuine  Sensibility  of 
Sorrow  to  which  your  Breast  is  so  naturally  open." 
"Poor  Mrs  Wheler,"  he  says,  "has  acted  in  the  whole 
of  this  trying  scene  with  an  affection  and  attention  to 
excite  admiration.  She  is  locked  up  in  her  room  near 
me — the  Children  are  playing  as  usual  in  the  opposite 
Room ;  and  there  is  not  a  dry  Eye  in  (the)  Place,  where 
we  were  but  yesterday  all  so  chearful  and  in  hopes  that 
Mr  Wheler  was  recovering."  Mrs  Wheler  and  her  child- 
ren sailed  for  home  in  the  Valentine  in  the  first  week  of 
1785. 

1  State  Papers. 
Y 


338  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

FURRUKHABAD  was  the  capital  of  a  Rohilla  chieftain, 
Musafir  Jang,  who  escaped  the  fate  of  his  colleagues  in 
1773  by  agreeing  to  hold  his  territory  in  future  as  a  fief 
of  Oudh.1  The  post  of  Resident  at  his  durbar  appears 
to  have  been  by  no  means  a  bed  of  roses.  After  an  in- 
terregnum of  two  or  three  years  it  was  given  to  a  son 
of  Mr  Justice  Willes,  who  writes  in  1784  to  thank 
Hastings  for  the  favour.  Very  shortly,  however,  the 
younger  Willes  and  the  Nawab  and  his  councillors  are 
at  variance.  Willes  charges  them  with  mismanagement 
of  the  state,  and  they  him  with  interfering  in  matters 
which  do  not  concern  him,  and  obstructing  the  opera- 
tions of  government.  Hastings  decides  that  both  are  in 
the  wrong,  Musafir  Jang  for  neglecting  his  duty,  and 
Willes  for  taking  too  extended  a  view  of  his. 

MRS  POWNEY  was  an  old  Madras  friend  of  Mr  and  Mrs 
Hastings.  In  1772  she  sent  him  "  three  small  Frasils  of 
Coffee,"  in  return  for  a  present  he  had  made  her  on  leaving 
for  Bengal,  and  in  1776  she  recommends  to  his  notice  the 
Bishop  of  St  Thome  (Meilapur  or  Meliapore,  the  old 
Portuguese  settlement  close  to  Madras,  now  called  St 
Thomas's  Mount),  whose  duty  and  service  obliges  him 
to  go  to  Bengal.  She  died  in  1795,  leaving  two  sons 
settled  in  India  and  two  at  home,  in  whose  careers 
Hastings  interested  himself.  Of  her  two  daughters,  one 
was  a  Mrs  Amherst,  and  the  other  married  first  one  of 
the  Vansittarts,  by  whom  she  had  a  son  (Henry),  and 
a  daughter,  and  secondly,  in  1791,  George  Nesbitt 
Thompson.  They  had  a  large  family,  and  with  the 
exception  of  pecuniary  troubles,  all  seemed  to  go  well 
with  them,  until,  after  twenty  -  three  years  of  married 
life,  a  breach  occurred,  which  Hastings  tried  in  vain 
to  compose.2 

The  MANJEE  (manjhi)  was  the  master  or  steersman  of 
a  vessel. 

The  BARRINGTON  or  BERRINGTON  (the  two  spellings, 

1  Malleson.  2  See  infrat  p.  437. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVI.  339 

are  used  indifferently)  had  left  Madras  for  Calcutta  on 
June  25th.  She  was  a  notably  fast  ship,  doing  the 
return  voyage  in  1786  in  three  months  and  twenty-three 
days  from  the  Thames  to  Madras.  In  1777,  when 
Hastings  was  believed  to  be  on  the  point  of  returning 
home,  the  Correspondence  shows  an  amusing  amount  of 
competition  among  captains  of  Indiamen  and  men-of- 
war  for  the  honour — and  profit — of  conveying  him,  and 
Captain  Johnson  of  the  Berrington  now  found  it  impos- 
sible to  keep  secret  the  Governor- General's  intention  of 
sailing  with  him.  It  is  noteworthy  that  Hastings  was 
obliged  to  pay  his  own  passage.  "  I  never,"  he  writes 
to  Thompson  in  1808, l  "  received  from  the  Company,  or 
from  the  nation  (the  nation !)  any  allowance  of  money 
for  my  own  passage,  or  that  of  my  fellow-passengers  from 
Bengal  to  England." 

The  THREE  who  met  in  Council  on  November  nth 
were  Hastings,  McPherson,  and  the  Secretary,  Hay.2  On 
November  ist  McPherson  sat  in  Council  alone.  Stables 
was  "absent  on  the  river  for  the  benefit  of  his  health," 
but  had  returned  by  November  28th. 

(Gleig,  III.  pp.  211-215.) 

CALCUTTA,     itfk  November,  1784. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  despatched  my  last  number 
on  the  2oth  October  from  Benares  to  Mr  Boddam  to 
be  forwarded  by  land  with  public  advices  of  the  death 
of  Mr  Wheler.  This  event  determined  me  to  quicken 
my  return  to  Calcutta.  Having  accordingly  crowded 
into  two  days  the  business  which  I  had  before  allotted 
to  ten,  I  took  my  leave  of  the  Prince  on  the  2ist,  and 
began  my  departure  the  next  morning  at  four  o'clock; 
and  thus  ended  the  "  Chapter  of  Benares."  The  Prince 
had  before  fixed  on  the  2gth  for  beginning  his  march 

1  Gleig,  III.  394.  2  State  Papers. 


340  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

to  Furrukhabad,  there  to  treat  for  his  return  on  terms 
of  honour  and  safety  to  his  father's  court.  I  have 
given  him  the  attendance  of  my  own  body-guard,1  and 
provided  for  the  additional  retinue  of  five  battalions  of 
the  Nabob  Vizier's  sepoys ;  besides  employing  what 
personal  influence  I  possessed  to  promote  his  success. 
My  feelcherra  carried  me  that  night  to  Buxar,  where  I 
slept,  and  proceeded  (to  the  great  regret  of  Major2 
Eaton)  the  next  morning,  the  23rd.  At  eight  that 
evening  I  arrived  at  Patna,  halted  one  day,  and  re- 
turned to  my  boat  after  supper.  At  half-past  ten  the 
following  night  I  reached  Baugulpoor,  where  I  found 
Mr  and  Mrs  Chapman,  with  a  host  of  friends;  your 
good  friend,  Mrs  Powney,  among  the  foremost,  stand- 
ing on  the  ghaut,  and  almost  in  the  water,  to  receive 
me.  I  must  not  omit  Miss  Touchet.  Here  I  waited 
two  days  for  Dr  Balfour,  who  had  insisted  on  accom- 
panying me  to  Calcutta,  and  had  promised  to  join  me 
at  Patna,  but  missed  me.  On  the  27th,  after  supper,  I 
took  my  leave  of  my  two  excellent  friends,  and  departed. 
(Mrs  Chapman  is,  in  your  sense  of  the  word,  very  happy.) 
At  twelve  we  passed  the  dreadful  rocks  of  Cohlgong, 
and  as  the  moon  was  full,  and  shone  very  bright,  I 
ordered  the  manjee  to  steer  between  them  and  the 
shore,  expecting  to  find  some  remains  of  the  memor- 
able vortex  of  1782 ;  but  my  virtue  was  not  worth  the 
trial;  my  curiosity  only  was  gratified  by  a  clear  dis- 
play of  the  cause  of  the  eddy,  which  was  a  nulla 
tumbling  down  in  the  month  of  August  with  a  flood 
from  the  hills,  and  meeting  the  stream  of  the  river 

1  That  is,  the  cavalry  troop  commanded  by  Frith. 

2  Gleig  reads  Mr,  but  "  Mr."  is  one  of  Hastings'  contractions  for  Major. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  XXVI.  34! 

rendered  more  rapid  by  the  obstruction  of  the  rocks. 
The  nulla  was  now  dry,  and  only  showed  a  hollow,  like 
a  notch,  in  the  bank.  But  I  must  abridge  my  journey. 
I  arrived  at  Rangametty  on  the  2gth,  at  sunrise,  stayed 
there  a  day  and  a  half  with  Sir  John  and  Lady 
D'Oyley,  and  by  making  a  small  journey  from  Dowd- 
poor  to  near  Nuddea  by  land,  got  to  Sooksaugur  at 
noon  on  the  3ist.  The  Begum1  sent  me  more  than 
one  message  expressive  of  her  disappointment  at  my 
passing  the  city,  as  she  had  prepared  an  elegant  dis- 
play of  your  couches  and  chairs  for  my  entertainment. 
These  are  since  arrived,  with  a  letter  for  you,  recom- 
mended most  earnestly  to  my  care.  There  are  two 
couches,  eight  chairs,2  and  two  footstools,  all  of  the 
former  patterns,  most  delicately  formed,  and  more  to 
my  taste  than  the  others;  not  designed  for  fat  folks, 
nor  romps ;  nor  proper  for  you  my  elegant  Marian,  to 
use  in  the  presence  of  your  husband.  I  had  originally 
determined  to  make  Sooksaugur  the  termination  of  my 
journey,  and  Mr  Stables's  absence,  whom  I  had  left  at 
Rangametty — not  so  rapid  a  traveller  as"  Mr  and  Mrs 
Hastings,  rendered  my  speedier  return  to  Calcutta  every 
way  unnecessary.  Here  I  received  letters  from  Major 
Scott,  dated  the  I5th  May,  followed  by  an  overland 
packet,  without  a  letter  from  him ;  it  was  not  his  fault ; 
but  with  one  from  the  Court  of  Directors,  dated  the 
I5th  June,  as  unpleasing  as  any  that  I  ever  received 
from  that  body  in  the  time  of  General  Clavering.  Scott 
will  tell  you  its  purport,  and  my  conduct  regarding  it. 

1  Munny  Begum. 

2  Sir  C.  Lawson  mentions  that  some  of  this  ivory  furniture  is  now  in  the 
possession  of  the  Maharajah  of  Darbhanga. 


342  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

I  can  learn  nothing  of  my  own  destiny  by  this  packet, 
and  indeed  I  suspect  that  it  was  hurried  away  without 
notice,  lest  I  should.  The  only  circumstance  which  it 
contains  to  please  me  is  that  the  news  of  your  arrival 
at  St  Helena  had  already  reached  England.  I  hope  it 
will  contribute  to  make  them  more  decided  before  the 
next  despatch.  I  am  literally  sick  of  suspense;  yet  I 
will  wait  for  one  more  packet  to  take  my  final  resolu- 
tion. In  the  meantime  I  have  engaged  a  passage  in 
the  Harrington,  and  as  the  Board  (that  is  Mr  Macpherson) 
had  before  destined  her  despatch  to  take  place  on  the 
2Oth  of  this  month,  I  have  desired  them  to  revoke  the 
order,  which  they  have  agreed  to,  and  she  is  to  wait 
for  me.  Thus  far  I  have  proceeded  with  great  delibera- 
tion. My  most  zealous  friends  are  very  desirous  of  my 
remaining  till  I  am  relieved  by  an  appointed  successor ; 
but  their  reasons  are  such  as  I  can  never  adopt,  nor 
allow ;  nor  will  I  on  any  consideration  stay  till  my 
successor  arrives,  if  I  can  get  away,  though  it  be  but 
a  day,  before  his  arrival.  I  still  abide  by  the  resolu- 
tion which  I  communicated  to  you  in  my  letter  of  the 
24th  of  September,  that  is  to  say,  "If  I  am  required 
by  authority  to  stay,  and  have  the  powers  given  me 
which  ought  to  belong  to  my  office,  and  proper  objects 
are  assigned  for  my  stay,  I  will  stay,  however  repug- 
nant it  may  be  to  my  own  feelings,  or  hazardous  to 
my  health ;  but  I  will  not  stay  with  my  present  col- 
leagues to  thwart  me,  and  impede  all  my  endeavours ; 
nor  will  I  stay,  merely  to  fill  up  the  gap  of  my  office 
until  it  may  suit  the  convenience,  caprice,  or  worse 
motive,  of  my  superiors  to  fill  it."  As  yet  I  am  at 
liberty  to  make  my  option  ;  but  I  think  that  I  cannot 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVI.  343 

remain  so  longer  than  till  the  arrival  of  the  next  de- 
spatch from  England,  which  I  suppose  must  be  here 
in  another  month.  I  am  not  sure  that  I  ought  to  wait 
longer  for  it,  but  form  my  conclusions  and  my  deter- 
mination on  the  delay  itself.  My  health  I  shall  make 
no  consideration,  nor  will  I  form  my  determination  on 
any  injuries  done  me  by  the  Directors,  my  new  friends. 
At  the  same  time  I  must  tell  you  that  I  fear  that  I 
have  gained  no  more  than  a  suspension  from  sickness, 
but  have  added  nothing  to  the  strength  of  my  constitu- 
tion by  my  late  absence  from  Calcutta.  I  have  been 
ailing  ever  since  my  return.  Every  night  I  have  a 
regular  return  of  feverish  symptoms,  for  I  cannot  call 
them  a  fever;  and  the  swelling  in  my  ancles,  which  I 
thought  had  totally  left  me,  has  again  returned.  In 
short,  I  am  little  better,  but  surely  something  better, 
than  I  was  this  time  last  year.  I  am  resolved,  how- 
ever, that  I  will  not  be  sick ;  nor,  if  I  shall  be  com- 
pelled to  sacrifice  another  year  of  my  life  to  the  service, 
will  I  stay  beyond  June  in  Calcutta,  while  there  are  such 
climates  as  Baugulpoor  and  Benares  to  "repair  to.  I 
intend  to  get  the  Harrington's  saltpetre  given  to  her 
immediately,  and  shall  propose  to  load  her,  with  the 
declaration  of  my  resolution  to  depart.  I  do  not  appre- 
hend that  either  of  my  colleagues  will  attempt  to  stop 
me.  I  wait  with  inconceivable  anxiety  for  the  news 
of  your  arrival,  and  with  terror  for  the  event  which 
must  have  passed  long  before  this.  May  God  preserve 
you,  whatever  may  be  my  lot ;  and  yet,  if  possible, 
reunite  us !  Adieu,  my  beloved  ! 

We  have  yet  met  but  three  in  Council,  but  hitherto 
have  sat  in  good  humour.     Macpherson  is  sick;  and  so 


344  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

am  I ;  yet  I  am  sure  that  it  is  wholly  constitutional.  I 
have  laboured  hard,  and  my  mind  harder;  my  spirits 
sink  with  the  state  of  suspense  and  doubt  which  I 
remain  in.  O,  that  I  could  reveal  to  you  all  that  it  is 
rilled  with.  Gloomy  as  my  thoughts  are,  you  would  be 
pleased  with  the  review  of  them.  Again,  may  God 
bless  you,  my  beloved!  I  dare  not  add  more,  though 
my  heart  swells  with  the  addition. 


LETTER   XXVII. 

The  P.S.  referred  to  is,  of  course,  that  of  Letter  XXVI., 
written  when  Hastings  had  just  received  his  wife's  letter 
with  its  happy  prospect. 

BAHRAICH  is  a  town  near  Faizabad,  celebrated  for  its 
possession  of  the  tomb  and  shrine  of  Masaud,  a  leader  of 
the  Mohammedan  invasion,  who  was  defeated  and  slain 
here  by  a  confederacy  of  Rajput  princes  in  A.D.  1033. 1 
It  is  still  a  great  Moslem  centre  of  pilgrimage. 

AFRASIAB  KHAN  was  "  assassinated  by  a  soldier  of  his 
army  in  his  own  tent,  instigated,  as  it  is  suspected,  by  a 
Zein-ul-Abdeen  Cawn,  the  brother  of  Mirza  Shuffee,  who 
perished  in  like  manner  by  the  agency  of  Afrasiab  Cawn, 
on  whom  this  retribution  has  fallen  with  the  strictest 
justice."2  The  ONE  COMPETITOR  who  opposed  Sindhia 
was  that  "  Mahomed  Beg  Humdannee,  a  Mogul  Chief 
in  the  nominal  service  of  the  King,"  who  had  brought 
about  the  assassination  of  Mirza  Shaft  at  the  instance  of 
Afrasiab  Khan.  When  Hastings  left  Benares,  the  two 
murderers  had  quarrelled  over  the  spoils,  and  Afrasiab 
Khan  was  sending  a  detachment  of  his  army  against 
Mahomed  Beg,  "who  had  established  a  kind  of  inde- 
pendent sovereignty  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Jeypoor."" 
Sindhia,  on  his  arrival,  took  command  of  the  forces  which 

1  Sir  W.  Hunter,  *  Gazetteer  of  India.'  2  State  Papers. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVII.  345 

had  owned  allegiance  to  Afrasiab  Khan,  and  reduced  the 
rebel  to  submission.  "  Humdannee  was  obliged  to  sur- 
render Sindia  all  his  artillery  and  stores,  with  his  own 
person.  His  troops  were  dispersed,  and  Sindia  thus 
became  the  uncontested  ruler  of  the  royal  army." 
Mahomed  Beg  had  his  revenge  later,  as  will  be  seen  in 
the  Concluding  Chapter. 

The  spot  near  COLGONG,  the  sight  of  which,  connected 
as  it  was  with  his  wife's  extreme  danger,  roused  so  much 
emotion  in  Hastings,  has  been  identified  and  photo- 
graphed by  a  friend  of  the  present  writer.  The  nullah 
appears,  as  Hastings  describes  it,  almost  insignificant  in 
the  dry  season,  but  it  can  be  easily  understood  how 
different  it  would  be  in  the  rains,  when  it  brought  down 
a  great  body  of  storm-water  from  the  hills. 

SOOTEE  (Suti),  where  the  Nawab  Mubarak-u-Daula 
was  waiting  to  greet  Hastings,  stands  at  the  point  where 
the  Bhagirathi  or  Murshidabad  River  breaks  off  from  the 
main  stream  of  the  Ganges.  The  journey  was  much 
shortened  by  adopting  this  channel,  which  unites  with  the 
Jalinghi  and  Matabhanga  at  Nadiya  to  form  the  Hugli. 
The  city  passed  in  the  night  was  of  course  Murshidabad. 

A  BOWLEA  (Baulia),  was  a  large  native  boat  with  a 
cabin  in  the  middle,  manned  by  many  rowers. 

GENERAL  JOHN  CARNAC  was,  like  Sir  Hector  Munro, 
one  of  those  officers  whose  later  life  belies  the  promise  of 
their  youth.  In  1761,  when  he  succeeded  Caillaud1  in  the 
command  of  the  British  forces  in  India,  he  defeated  Shah 
Alam,  who  had  invaded  Behar,  and  concluded  an  accom- 
modation with  him.  In  1764,  again,  after  the  Patna 
Massacre,  he  succeeded,  with  a  small  and  disaffected 
army,  in  keeping  at  bay  Mir  Kasim,  the  guilty  Nawab, 
who  was  assisted  by  Shah  Alam  and  Shuja-u-Daula,  the 
Nawab-Vizier,  until  Munro  arrived  with  reinforcements 
from  South  India.  Between  these  two  dates  he  had  a 
serious  dispute  with  Hastings,  who,  as  a  member  of  the 

1  See  infra,  p.  405. 


LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Bengal  Council,  had  joined  in  censuring  and  recalling 
him  because  he  declared  his  intention  of  following  his 
own  judgment,  without  regarding  the  orders  he  received.1 
In  1767  he  returned  home,  and  in  1773  we  find  him 
writing  to  Hastings  to  say  that  in  spite  of  their  differences 
he  has  nominated  him,  on  Clive's  advice,  to  undertake 
the  delicate  and  responsible  task  of  acting  as  his  attorney 
in  India.  Returning  to  the  East  as  member  of  the 
Bombay  Council,  he  insisted  on  sharing,  or  directing, 
the  military  labours  of  the  local  Commander -in -Chief, 
Colonel  Egerton,  and  thus  helped  to  bring  about  the 
retreat  from  Taliagaon  and  the  disgraceful  Convention 
of  Wargaon.  Dismissed  from  the  Company's  service, 
he  seems  to  have  hidden  his  diminished  head  in  Bengal, 
where  Hastings  found  him  some  small  appointment. 
He  writes  on  the  eve  of  his  benefactor's  departure  to 
apologize  for  seeming  ingratitude,  as  he  was  unable  to 
express  his  sentiments  in  view  of  the  crowd  that  attended 
Hastings'  steps.  "  Deprived  as  I  am  of  all  domestic 
Felicity  by  the  unfortunate  loss  of  a  most  amiable 
woman,"  he  says,  "it  is  matter  of  indifference  to  me 
where  I  am  to  spend,  whether  at  home  or  abroad,  the 
remainder  of  a  Life  which  cannot  possibly  afford  me 
any  possible  happiness  in  Future."  He  was  not  quite 
destitute  of  friends,  for  his  mother-in-law,  Mrs  Rivett, 
writes  to  Hastings  shortly  afterwards  to  ask  whether 
anything  can  be  done  to  get  the  appointment  secured 
to  him.  "  Mr  Carnac  was  Many  Years  the  happy 
Husband  of  a  Most  Excellent  and  Ever  to  be  lamented 
Daughter  of  mine — "  she  writes — "his  goodness  to  her 
has  given  him  a  place  in  my  Affection  which  no  time, 
or  distance,  can  lessen,  and  I  am  anxiously  interested  in 
the  future  comfort  of  his  hard  fated  life."  There  is 
nothing  to  show  whether  Carnac's  fate  continued  to  be 
hard.  The  Dictionary  of  National  Biography  notes  that 
he  died  at  Mangalore  in  1800. 

1  Gleig,  I.  125. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVII.  347 

The  journey  which  exceeded  Hastings'  own  in  speed 
was  that  of  Mrs  Hastings  from  Bhagalpur  to  Calcutta  in 
1782,  when  she  heard  of  his  illness.  The  accomplishment 
of  such  a  distance  in  less  than  three  days  was  only 
possible  owing  to  the  increased  power  of  the  current  in 
the  rainy  season. 

The  HON.  CHARLES  STUART  had  been  a  friend  of 
Hastings  for  twenty  years.  It  was  he  who  called  the 
meeting  of  the  gentlemen  of  the  settlement  on  his  de- 
parture, and  presented  their  address.  In  August,  1785, 
he  writes  that  he  is  now  a  member  of  the  Supreme 
Council,  and  as  he  fears  that  some  of  his  actions  may 
be  misrepresented,  by  the  enemies  of  both,  as  inimical 
to  Hastings,  he  wishes  to  explain  his  views  on  various 
points.  He  was  one  of  Hastings'  Indian  attorneys,  with 
Larkins  and  Thompson. 

JAMES  MCPHERSON  was  cousin  to  John  McPherson, 
and  author,  editor  or  adapter  of  the  Ossianic  Poems. 
He  succeeded  his  cousin  in  the  charge  of  the  Nawab 
of  Arcot's  agency  in  England,  and  exerted  a  good  deal 
of  influence  at  the  India  House.  Richard  Sulivan,  in 
the  letter  here  mentioned,  calls  him  "the  invulnerable 
and  second-sighted  Fingal,"  and  says  he  .is  sore  at  his 
cousin's  neglect  of  his  friends  now  that  he  is  in  a  position 
to  help  them.  Sulivan  thinks  it  will  be  well  if  Hastings 
takes  the  charge  upon  himself,  for  "  Fingal  is  a  man  of 
might  in  this  country,  and  day  after  day  must  encrease 
in  consequence."  "  James  McPherson  has  acted  very 
steadily  for  us  throughout  this  business  "  (the  negocia- 
tions  preceding  the  introduction  of  Pitt's  India  Bill), 
writes  Scott.  Thompson  calls  him  "McPherson's  honest 
cousin  Fingal,"  and  McPherson  himself  styles  him  "your 
zealous  Friend  the  Historian  and  Bard,"  adding,  "  One 
Side  of  the  Slip  (a  letter  enclosed  from  James),  is  written 
in  the  Erse  language,  which  we  correspond  in  continually 
on  secret  Matters." 

The  GLOOMY  MANSION,  Mrs  Hastings'  house,  continued 


348  LETTERS   OF   WARREN   HASTINGS. 

to  be  her  husband's  town  headquarters  till  he  sailed. 
Immediately  on  his  departure  McPherson's  "  family " 
seized  upon  it,  and  took  possession,  according  to 
Thompson,  so  impetuously  that  the  sale  of  the  furni- 
ture could  not  be  held  there. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  DR  CAMPBELL,  the  retired 
Surgeon-General,  had  accompanied  the  Impeys  home  in 
the  Worcester. 

On  the  question  of  HEALTH,  Hastings'  strong  belief  in 
the  virtues  of  hot  and  cold  water,  dieting  and  exercise, 
comes  out  very  strongly  in  his  later  correspondence, 
combined  with  a  distinct  distrust  of  the  medical  pro- 
fession. "What  a  catalogue  of  self-inflicted  tortures 
have  you  described  to  have  undergone,"  he  writes  to 
Lady  Imhoff  in  1810 ;  "  and  are  you  not  surprised,  not 
that  you  are  ill,  but  that  you  should  have  regained  even 
a  small  portion  of  your  health,  when  you  were  so  desper- 
ately against  it  ?  I  too  am  sick  at  times,  but  I  neither 
lie  abed,  nor  choak  myself  with  Wh.'s  essence  of  mustard, 
nor  swallow  Guaiacum,  nor  lickerish  powder,  nor  shell 
myself  with  blisters,  nor  pickle  myself  with  hot  salt,  and 
my  health  returns,  because  there  is  nothing  in  its  way  to 
repell  it."  LUIGI  CORNARO  was  the  famous  Venetian 
nobleman  whose  health  was  restored  and  his  life  pro- 
longed to  the  age  of  ninety-five  by  means  of  strict  ab- 
stemiousness. It  is  recorded  that  he  often  found  the 
yolk  of  an  egg  sufficient  nutriment  for  a  meal — not,  as 
in  the  text,  for  a  day.  His  love  of  exercise  and  rural 
enjoyments  was  as  great  as  that  of  Hastings. 

CHARLES  WILKINS  was  Superintendent  of  the  Press 
in  Calcutta  when  Hastings'  "Narrative  of  the  Insurrec- 
tion at  Banaris  "  was  printed.  He  was  afterwards  sent 
to  the  upper  provinces,  apparently  on  a  kind  of  literary 
mission.  At  Patna  he  discovered  a  "College  of  Seeks" 
(Sikhs),  and  sends  Hastings  a  minute  account  of  their 
history  and  religious  ceremonies.  A  little  later  he 
forwards  "The  Blessings  of  the  Wise  Men  of  Kasee," 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVII.  34Q 

which  he  has  translated,  that  he  may  show  it  to  his 
friends,  and  we  hear  from  Benares  of  his  interest  in 
antiquities  and  native  learning,  and  the  visits  paid  to 
him  by  learned  men.  At  this  time  he  was  engaged  in 
translating  the  Sanscrit  epic  called  the  Mahabharata, 
from  which  Hastings  had  taken  the  legend  of  Rooroo 
and  Promodbora  to  versify  for  his  wife.  He  writes  in 
December  to  complain  of  the  difficulty  of  accomplish- 
ing his  task  in  Calcutta,  and  begs  to  be  moved  again 
to  Benares,  with  either  a  sinecure  office  or  a  special 
allowance  while  he  is  engaged  on  the  work,  so  that  he 
may  enjoy  the  assistance  of  the  wisest  Pundits.  The 
book  alluded  to  in  this  letter,  his  translation  of  the 
Bhagavad-Gita,  a  didactic  poem  forming  a  part  of  the 
epic,  was  published  in  London  in  1785,  with  the  intro- 
ductory letter  from  Hastings  which  is  mentioned  in 
Letter  XXVIII.  Sir  William  Jones,  whom  Wilkins 
had  helped  in  his  Sanscrit  studies,  criticized  the  render- 
ing, and  in  writing  to  Hastings  the  author  refers  to  the 
criticism  with  some  acrimony.  "  I  was  not  translating 
for  the  use  of  schools"  he  says.  In  later  years  Wilkins 
was  appointed  to  the  charge  of  the  library  at  the  India 
House,  and  was  made  examiner  and  visitor  at  Haileybury. 
In  1833  he  was  knighted. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  Mrs  Hastings'  TITLES 
included  that  of  Bilkis,  Queen  of  Sheba,  and  her 
husband's  that  of  Offspring  of  the  Emperor. 

CAPTAIN  JOSEPH  PRICE  was  a  very  faithful  and  trouble- 
some adherent  of  Hastings.  He  appears  first  in  the 
Correspondence  as  taking  charge  of  his  money  matters 
on  Hancock's  death,  although,  like  Hancock,  he  was 
generally  in  pecuniary  difficulties  himself.  In  1778,  on 
the  outbreak  of  war  with  France,  he  was  employed  to 
fit  up  two  vessels,  the  Resolution,  which  was  his  own, 
and  the  Charlotta  or  Royal  Charlotte,  which  belonged  to 
Croftes,  as  forty-gun  ships,  and  in  command  of  them  to 
join  Sir  Edward  Vernon.  This  little  squadron,  which 


350  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Francis  named  contemptuously  "  the  Musquitto  Fleet," 
helped  to  capture  Pondichery.  Price  was  always  at 
daggers  drawn  with  Francis  —  because  the  latter  ex- 
posed his  jobs,  says  Mr  Beveridge,1  but  it  must  be 
remembered  that  Francis  saw  a  job  in  every  action 
not  performed  by  himself  or  designed  to  benefit  one 
of  his  hangers-on.  That  Price  was  a  friend  of  Hastings, 
and  had  shown  up  the  defaulting  contractor  Lacam,  who 
had  victimised  poor  Dr  Hancock,  and  whose  services  to 
the  Majority  were  rewarded  by  them  with  such  whole- 
hearted support,  was  amply  sufficient  to  stamp  him 
as  a  deep-dyed  villain  in  Francis's  estimation.  When 
we  next  hear  of  Price,  he  is  at  home,  under  a  cloud. 
Francis  had  brought  accusations  against  him  in  Council 
in  connection  with  the  fitting-out  of  the  two  ships,  which 
he  professed  to  withdraw  when  Hastings  showed  their 
falsity,  but  did  not  expunge  from  the  records,  so  that 
they  were  sent  home.2  Price's  aim  was  to  obtain  their 
erasure,  and  he  tells  us  that  he  haunted  the  India  House 
until  all  its  habitues  were  familiar  to  him,  from  Robert 
Gregory,  Chairman  of  the  Court  of  Directors,  down  to 
"  little  Chapman,  the  good-natured  office-keeper."  He 
was  intending  to  come  out  again  by  the  first  ships  of 
1782,  but  in  June  of  that  year  he  writes  from  the  King's 
Bench,  where  he  is  imprisoned  for  debt,  though  he  says 
he  had  plenty  of  money  at  his  command  in  India.  He 
used  his  enforced  leisure  in  writing  a  series  of  signed 
pamphlets  on  Indian  affairs  and  in  defence  of  Hastings, 
dealing  doughty  blows  at  Francis  and  his  tool  Macintosh, 
whose  ludicrous  book  of  travels  was  designed  as  an  in- 
dictment of  the  Governor  -  General.  These  were  pub- 
lished at  his  own  expense,  but  when  Scott  came  home 
he  made  use  of  the  seaman's  vigorous  pen  in  a  further 
series,  which  was  anonymous  and  "  constantly  submitted 
to-  his  inspection,  Correction  and  alteration."  "  Mad 

1  '  Trial  of  Nanda  Kumar,'  Appendix. 

2  E.  B.  Impey's  '  Life  of  Sir  Elijah  Impey.' 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVII.  351 

Price  merits  much,"  writes  Barwell  to  Hastings,  and 
Laurence  Sulivan  sends  a  special  letter  commending 
him  as  "  one  of  the  honestest  men  upon  earth,"  when 
he  goes  out  again  in  1784,  and  mentions  "  his  affection- 
ate and  fearless  defence  of  your  honour  and  character."" 
Price  himself,  however,  has  an  idea  that  his  efforts- 
may  not  be  wholly  agreeable  to  the  person  he  wishes 
to  benefit.  "  You  will  lift  up  your  Eyes,  and  express 
your  wish,  that  this  Old  Fool  would  be  quiet  and  mind 
his  Own  Affairs,"  he  says.  Excellent  as  his  intentions 
were,  his  money  troubles  made  him  an  awkward  ac- 
quaintance. Hastings  had  frequently  come  to  his  aid, 
but  at  the  beginning  of  1785  he  seems  to  have  thought 
it  time  to  draw  the  line.  There  is  a  characteristic  letter 
from  Price  complaining  that  a  request  of  his  for  a  bill 
°f  £3°°  na(i  been  refused  shortly  and  peevishly,  so  that 
he  could  never  feel  at  his  ease  in  Hastings'  presence 
again.  "  My  attachment  to  you  was  Personal,  Constant, 
Regular  and  Warm,  unmixed  with  selfish  Views,  or 
interested  motives,"  he  protests,  in  lamenting  that  he 
was  not  allowed  to  attend  his  patron  down  the  river 
when  he  sailed.  In  1786  his  fortunes  are  again  in  the 
ascendant,  and  he  is  busy  building  store-houses  and  a 
hospital  at  Diamond  Point  for  the  Company.  In  1789 
he  is  described  as  a  worthy  old  man,  determined  to 
discharge  all  his  debts,  which  is  "too  romantick  a  notion 
for  his  Time  of  Life."  Some  time  before  1797,  when  he 
seems  to  have  died,  a  commission  of  lunacy  was  held 
on  "  poor  old  Price."  He  left  a  good  deal  of  property, 
but  had  made  no  provision  for  repaying  his  debt  to 
Hastings,  who  could  lodge  no  claim  against  the  estate, 
having  given  him  a  general  discharge  at  the  time  he  was 
bankrupt.  "  Honest  Joe  must  have  been  a  great  rogue, 
or  non  compos  when  he  died,"  writes  Chapman.  The 
matter  caused  Hastings  a  good  deal  of  worry,  as  the 
money  would  have  been  most  welcome  to  him,  but  he 
seems  never  to  have  received  it. 


352  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

MRS  PEACOCK  was  recommended  to  Hastings  by  Bar- 
well  at  the  end  of  1782.  She  and  her  daughter  were 
going  out  to  Bengal  to  recover  what  they  could  from 
the  wreck  of  Mr  Peacock's  fortunes,  and  then  returning 
home.  Mrs  Mary  Barwell  and  Scott  also  recommend 
her,  stating  that  she  is  an  entire  stranger  to  India,  that 
she  is  of  good  family  and  has  some  money  of  her  own, 
.and  needs  nothing  but  advice.  This  does  not  seem  to 
have  been  correct,  for  on  her  mother's  death,  which  is 
said  by  her  brother  to  have  been  due  to  the  law's  delay, 
Miss  Peacock  appears  to  have  been  quite  destitute. 
Hastings  left  directions  with  Larkins  to  pay  her  a  liberal 
allowance  out  of  the  funds  in  his  hands,  but  Larkins, 
watchful  over  his  interests,  hoped  to  get  her  married 
before  this  should  be  necessary.  She  was  not  by  any 
means  an  ideal  inmate.  In  July,  1785,  Larkins  writes 
distractedly  that  she  has  been  playing  fast  and  loose 
with  the  affections  of  a  most  desirable  suitor,  who  was 
prepared  to  pay  her  mother's  English  debts,  amounting 
to  £3000,  and  has  finally  dismissed  him.  "  In  my  Life," 
says  poor  Larkins,  "  I  never  met  with  so  young  a  Girl, 
so  perverse  and  so  obstinately  unaccommodating,  without 
a  tender  feeling  either  of  Gratitude,  Affection  or  Compas- 
sion ;  for  it  is  with  the  utmost  difficulty  that  I  can  keep 
her  from  being  a  tyrant  to  her  Slave  Girl.  ...  If  I  am 
not  most  egregiously  mistaken,  she  will  turn  out  bad. 
She  has  an  astonishing  propensity  to  act  the  Coquette, 
in  so  much  that  ere  her  Mother  had  been  dead  a  Month 
she  deemed  Rouge  an  eligible  Appendage  of  her  Dress ; 
and  tho'  she  was  compelled  to  take  it  off,  and  a  serious 
Admonition  offered  to  her  against  a  similar  Attempt,  she 
has  nevertheless  frequently  compelled  Mrs  Larkins  to  the 
necessity  of  sending  her  back  to  her  Room  to  take  it  off." 
The  dissatisfaction  was  mutual.  Miss  Peacock  wished  to 
live  with  the  Chapmans,  who  very  prudently  declined  to 
receive  her,  but  at  length  she  found  a  home  with  a  Mrs 
Tomlinson,  where  she  aggravated  her  former  faults  of 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVII.  353 

rudeness  and  extravagance  by  a  display  of  "  deistical 
notions,"  and  by  falling  violently  in  love  with  a  young 
man  who  cared  for  no  one  but  himself.  She  writes  to 
complain  of  Larkins's  treatment  of  her,  and  expresses  a 
wish  to  return  to  England,  where  she  has  friends  who 
admired  her  as  a  child,  though  she  dislikes  the  idea  of 
trying  to  earn  her  bread  there.  Larkins  writes  next, 
begging  Hastings  to  restrict  the  young  lady  to  100 
rupees  a  month,  as  she  has  given  out  that  he  allows 
her  500,  and  will  provide  her  outfit  and  passage  home. 
Then  comes  another  letter  from  her,  entreating  help, 
which  she  confesses  she  does  not  deserve.  She  is  10,000 
rupees  in  debt,  and  has  only  50  rupees  a  month  from  her 
uncle,  Captain  Forrest.  Hastings,  on  whom  she  had  no 
claim  whatever,  sent  out  orders  at  once  that  she  was  to 
have  200  sicca  rupees  a  month,  but  Chapman,  who  now 
had  charge  of  his  pension-list,  soon  found  it  necessary 
to  reduce  her  to  100,  since  she  had  only  discharged  seven 
annas  in  the  rupee  of  her  debts,  though  he  had  paid  her 
the  arrears  of  her  allowance.  Most  thankful  must  her 
harassed  guardian  have  been  when,  in  1790,  the  trouble- 
some Sabina  married  "  a  Mr  Pierard,  a  young  Man  in  the 
Service,  of  good  Character" — perhaps  the  "  F.  Pierard" 
who  was  one  of  the  donors  of  the  Old  Westminsters'  cup 
in  1777. 

The  unfortunate  CAPTAIN  PHIPPS  was  his  own  worst 
enemy.  After  his  patron's  departure,  we  hear  not  only 
of  his  quarrel  with  Sir  Thomas  Mills,1  but  of  his  mis- 
conduct as  bringing  about  the  breaking-up  of  the  Larkins 
household.  Hastings  gave  him  before  he  left  India  the 
appointment  of  Regulating  Captain  to  the  Militia,  but 
only  a  month  or  two  later  Phipps  writes  to  complain 
that  he  is  in  debt  and  in  bad  health,  and  finds  his  post 
an  expensive  one.  He  would  like  to  be  Commissary  of 
Supplies,  either  for  the  Presidency  or  for  the  army 
beyond  the  provinces.  Little  as  he  cared  for  his  posi- 

1  See  supra,  p.  314. 
Z 


354  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

tion,  however,  it  was  a  grievance  when  he  was  removed 
from  it  by  Lord  Cornwallis,  who  wanted  it  for  his 
nephew,  and  sent  to  command  the  escort  of  the  Resident 
with  Sindhia,  his  old  friend  Palmer.  This  less  profitable 
appointment  he  seems  to  have  relinquished  on  account 
of  ill-health,  for  in  February,  1788,  he  writes  that  he 
has  visited  Bombay,  "  the  hot  baths  in  the  Maharattah 
Country,"  and  Madras,  in  search  of  health.  He  has 
lost  the  use  of  his  limbs,  and  is  trying  severe  remedies. 
After  this  he  disappears,  until  he  entreats  help  from  his 
death-bed  at  the  close  of  1794.  He  confesses  that  he 
was  imprudent  in  India,  and  is  deeply  in  debt,  but  he 
thinks  Hastings  will  not  allow  him  to  die  in  misery, 
attended  only  by  his  faithful  wife,  who  has  forgiven  him 
all  his  sins  against  her.  That  Hastings  responded  to  the 
appeal  is  clear  by  the  letters  from  a  doctor  and  from  poor 
Mrs  Phipps,  who  acknowledges  gratefully  the  kindness 
which  has  provided  medical  attendance  for  her  husband 
and  paid  his  funeral  expenses.  Later  on,  Hastings  draws 
up  her  petition  for  her  husband's  pension,  or  share  of  the 
Military  Fund,  and  sends  her  money  for  her  immediate 
necessities,  and  those  of  Phipps's  little  daughter. 

CALCUTTA.     2oth  November,  1784. 
(Endorsed,  "  Received  the  I4th  (or  igth)  May.") 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — It  grieves  me  to  begin  this 
letter  with  the  discouraging  Reflexion  that  I  have  no 
new  Information  to  convey,  but  rather  Doubts  and 
Surmises  which  almost  undo  all  that  is  contained  in 
those  which  I  have  already  written.  Yet  it  is  prob- 
able that  your  own  Knowledge  of  what  has  passed  at 
Home  will  supply  the  want  of  that  which  this  ought 
to  give  you. — The  accompanying  Duplicate  of  my  Letter 
of  the  24th  September  will  make  you  acquainted  with 


SERIES   III. — LETTER   XXVII.  355 

my  general  Sentiments  and  Intentions  concerning  my 
Departure ;  but  as  this  was  written  when  my  Health 
and  Spirits  disposed  me  to  be  more  Sanguine  than  I 
am  at  this  Time,  and  the  P.S.  when  I  was  incapable 
of  thinking  like  a  reasonable  Being,  I  must  begin  with 
contradicting  the  Promise  of  so  early  a  Determination 
of  the  great  Question 1  as  I  may  seem  at  that  Time 
to  have  formed ;  for  here  I  am  in  a  State  of  Suspense 
so  thick  that  not  a  Ray  of  Light  can  penetrate  it. — 
But  I  will  begin  where  that  Letter  leaves  off. 

On  the  2Oth  of  October  I  received  the  afflicting  News 
of  Mr  Wheler's  Death  from  Mr  McPherson,  who  added 
that  he  was  also  sick :  and  Mr  Stables  was  absent  on 
a  Party  of  Amusement. — I  instantly  resolved  to  leave 
Benaris,  and  sent  Captain  Scott  to  inform  the  Prince 
of  the  Necessity  imposed  upon  me  to  leave  him  thus 
abruptly,  and  requested  his  Dismission  conformably  to 
the  Rule  of  Respect  which  I  had  all  along  prescribed 
to  myself  in  my  personal  Behavior  to  him ;  and  he  with 
his  usual  good  Humor  assented. — He  had  some  Time 
before  insisted  on  accompanying  me  to  Calcutta;  but 
finding  me  much  averse  to  it,  resolved  to  make  Trial 
of  his  Destiny  by  an  Approach  to  his  Father's  Court. 
For  this  Purpose  he  had  fixed  on  the  zgth  of  the  Month 
for  his  March  by  the  Road  of  Fyzabad,  making  from 
thence  a  short  Excursion  to  Bahraich,  to  visit  the  Tomb 
of  a  Saint  of  great  Repute ;  Superstition  being  a  great 
Ingredient  in  his  Character,  as  it  is  universally  with 
those  who  have  imbibed  it  with  their  Education,  and 
have  had  little  Converse  with  the  World.  Thence  he 
was  to  proceed  to  Lucnow,  see  the  Vizier,  and  go  on 

1  I.e.,  that  of  his  return. 


356  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

to  Furrukhabad ;  to  remain  encamped  there  near  our 
military  Station,  and  treat  with  the  King's  Minister  for 
his  Return ;  the  royal  Camp  lying  near  Agra  within 
the  Distance  of  a  hundred  Miles.  I  lent  him  my  own 
Body-Guard,  and  the  Nabob  Vizier  is  to  furnish  him 
with  a  further  Escort  of  5  of  his  Battalions.  If  he 
succeeds  it  is  well ;  If  not,  he  will  return  to  throw  him- 
self into  our  Protection,  either  at  Benaris,  or  (which  I 
shall  prevent,  if  I  can)  at  Calcutta. — I  will  finish  his 
Story,  before  I  resume  my  own.  He  is  by  this  Time 
at  Lucnow,  and  the  King  in  a  Letter  written  without 
the  Knowledge  of  his  Minister  has  pressed  him  in  the 
most  affectionate  Manner  to  rejoin  him  with  all  possible 
Speed.  Mahdajee  Sindia  has  also  promised  me  with 
Oaths  to  accomplish  the  Prince's  Return,  and  honor- 
able Establishment  with  the  King,  and  he  is  able  to  do 
it ;  for  the  Minister,  Afrasiab  Cawn,  has  been  assassinated 
by  his  own  People,  and  Sindia  on  his  Arrival  found  him- 
self, with  only  One  Competitor,  whom  he  soon  reduced, 
the  Master  of  the  King's  Affairs.  How  he  will  use  his 
good  Fortune  will  presently  be  seen;  and  it  will  prove 
the  Test  of  his  Fidelity  to  our  Nation.  I  trusted  him 
implicitly,  having  no  Alternative;  for  the  Board  re- 
quired me  to  effect  the  Prince's  Return,  but  forbad 
me  to  use  either  Money,  or  military  Force,  as  the 
Means. — I  believe  that  Sindia  will  be  true  to  me.  If 
not,  he  will  receive  the  Punishment  of  his  Perfidy  in 
the  Event. — Thus  far,  my  Marian,  my  Incumbrances 
have  fallen  from  me ;  and  I  trust  to  my  own  good 
Fortune  and  the  blessed  Influence  of  your  Virtues  for 
the  Removal  of  all  other  Impediments  to  our  Reunion. 
Having  with  hard  Labor  finished  all  my  other  Busi- 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVII.  357 

ness,  I  set  off  with  Halhed  on  the  Morning  of  the  22nd 
with  Carriages  to  Seidpoor,  which  is  about  20  Miles,  and 
proceeded  in  my  Feelchehra ;  slept  at  Buxar ;  set  off 
again  in  a  little  Storm  of  Rain  at  4  the  next  Morning, 
to  the  great  Mortification  of  little  Eaton,  landed  the 
Evening  at  Patna,  staid  the  next  Day ;  reembarked 
after  Supper,  and  reached  Bhaugulpoor  at  ^  an  hour 
after  Ten  the  next  Night.  There  I  found  Mr  and  Mrs 
Chapman,  and  a  World  of  Friends,  standing  on  the 
Bank  to  make  me  Welcome,  vizt.  Miss  T.  (Touchet), 
Lady  Js.  (Jones),  the  good  Mrs  P.  (Powney),  her  Sons 
and  Daughters,  Colonel  Blr.  (Blair),  &c,  &c.— Here  I 
chose  to  rest  and  wait  the  Arrival  of  Dr  Balfour,  who 
had  insisted  on  attending  me  to  Calcutta,  and  was  to 
have  joined  me  at  Patna,  but  was  too  late. — On  the 
27th  at  10  in  the  Evening  we  both  took  Leave  of  our 
good  Friends,  and  departed  in  the  Feelchehra. — At  12 
we  passed  the  memorable  Rocks  of  Cohlgong.  My 
Companion  was  asleep.  I  awoke  instinctively,  as  we 
approached  them,  and  directed  the  Manjee  to  steer 
between  the  Rocks  and  the  Shore,  my  Curiosity  strongly 
impelling  me  to  view  something  of  the  fatal  Eddy,  the 
Moon  shining  almost  from  her  full  Orb,  and  the  Air 
quite  clear.  I  was  not  wholly  disappointed  ;  for  though 
the  Stream  was  smooth  and  undisturbed,  I  saw  most 
visible  the  Cause  which  had  produced  the  Whirlpool 
when  the  River  was  full ;  which  was  a  Nulla,  now  dry, 
and  its  Channel  some  Feet  above  the  Water  of  the 
River,  thus.1 — This  in  the  heavy  Rains  bringing  down 
a  Torrent  of  Waters  from  the  Hills,  and  tumbling  with 
impetuous  Force  into  the  River,  which  from  the  Con- 

1  In  the  MS.  a  rough  miniature  sketch  follows. 


358  LETTERS  OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

finement  of  its  Stream  runs  in  that  Part  with  encreased 
Rapidity,  forces  it  out  of  its  Direction  against  the  Rocks, 
which  it  has  worn  into  the  Form  of  a  Bay ;  and  both 
Tides  uniting  whirl  round  in  a  perpetual  Eddy. — The 
mingled  Sentiments  and  Sensations  which  this  Sight 
produced  in  my  Mind,  of  Terror,  Delight,  Love,  Ad- 
miration and  Enthusiasm,  may  be  conceived  by  a  Spirit 
like  yours,  congenial  with  my  own ;  but  are  not  to  be 
described.  Blessed  be  that  Being  whose  Providence 
has  been  extended  in  so  wonderful  an  Instance  of  its 
Protection  to  the  best  Object  of  its  Guardian  Care ; 
and  may  that  Providence  be  your  unceasing  Defence 
to  the  latest  Period  of  your  natural  Life ! — but  how 
shall  I  deserve  such  Goodness,  who  derive  the  greatest 
Blessings  from  it  ? 

At  5.40  ms.  on  the  next  Afternoon  I  found  the  Nabob 
waiting  for  me  at  Sootee.  This  unseasonable  Civility 
detained  me  half  an  Hour,  besides  the  Embraces,  Salams 
and  Nezzers l  of  500  more.  Escaped  from  this  Bustle  I 
soon  left  them  out  of  Sight,  no  Bowlea  being  equal  to 
the  Feelchehra  in  Speed,  when  my  Dandies  are  willing. 
I  passed  the  City  at  Night,  but  the  Stream  being  very 
slow,  it  was  not  till  6  the  next  Morning  that  I  arrived 
at  Rangamatty,  where  I  expected  to  find  Sir  J.  D'oyly, 
whom  I  had  not  afforded  Time  to  receive  me  at  Afzool- 
baug.  He  however  had  gone  thither  the  preceding 
Evening,  and  returned  while  I  was  at  Breakfast.  Lady 
D.  was  confined  to  her  Chamber  with  her  new  born 
Infant,  and  much  recovered.  She  had  been  danger- 
ously ill,  and  by  Advice  is  going  Home  on  the  Hilles- 
borough,  Sir  John  having  since  contrived  that  he  may 

1  Nazr,  a  ceremonial  gift. 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVII.  359 

accompany  her. — I  have  encouraged  it,  and  I  believe 
had  a  principal  Share  in  determining  his  Resolution ; 
not,  my  Marian,  from  any  Reflexion  on  my  own  Con- 
dition ;  for  I  will  not  suffer  any  Comparison  to  be  drawn 
between  my  Feelings  and  those  of  others  through  the 
whole  System  of  human  Society,  nor  is  there  another 
Marian  in  it. 

I  love  Lady  D.  for  her  considerate  Kindness  in  send- 
ing me  your  Letter  which  gave  me  the  first  particular 
Tidings  of  you,  and  was  such  a  Cordial  to  my  longing 
Spirits,  that  I  could  not  part  with  it  till  I  had  taken  a 
Copy  of  it,  which  I  did  the  same  Day. — Mr  Stables 
was  in  the  Neighbourhood  on  a  Party  of  Pleasure,  and 
came  over  the  next  Morning  (the  3Oth)  with  General 
Carnac  to  see  me.  I  set  off  again  at  4  that  Afternoon, 
went  in  a  strange  Boat  to  Doudpoor,  landed  and  cut 
off  the  tedious  Windings  of  the  River  by  a  Journey  of 
30  Miles  in  a  Palekeen. — At  5  the  next  Morning  I  found 
my  Feelchehra,  which  I  had  sent  before,  with  Major 
Toone,  a  few  Miles  short  of  Nuddeea,  and  at  Noon  we 
all  landed  safe  and  in  Health  at  Sooksaugur.  My  Part 
of  the  Journey  with  all  its  Haltings  was  performed  in  9 
Days  and  a  Quarter;  and  these  Deducted,  in  4  Days  and 
7  Hours,  which  is  a  greater  Instance  of  Expedition  than 
any  within  my  Knowledge,  except  One  by  One  who  may 
excel  me  in  what  She  pleases  without  exciting  my  Envy. 

I  had  promised  Mr  Stables  to  wait  for  him  at  Sook- 
saugur, where  I  could  better  gain  what  preparatory 
Knowledge  I  wanted  than  in  Calcutta : — And  here  I 
staid  4  Days.  In  this  Interval  I  received  Letters  by 
a  Danish  Ship,  which  brought  out  Mr  Charles  Stuart, 
from  Major  Scott,  and  others,  as  late  as  the  I5th 


360  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

May.  These  gave  me  great  Expectations  of  the  next 
Dispatches ;  and  about  the  same  Time  arrived  a  Packet 
from  Bussora  in  which  was  a  Letter  from  the  Court  of 
Directors  to  the  Board  dated  the  I5th  June,  and  two 
for  me  of  the  same  Date  from  Richard  Sulivan  and 
James  McPherson,  both  short,  uninteresting,  and  refer- 
ring me  for  news  to  Major  Scott,  but  no  Letter  came 
from  him,  which  I  since  understand  must  have  been 
occasioned  by  the  sudden  Dispatch  of  the  Packet  on 
the  igth  of  June,  Six  Days  before  the  Time  announced 
for  it.  I  am  sure  it  was  no  Neglect  of  his  ;  for  Mr 
Stables  has  a  Letter  from  the  Secretary  telling  him  not 
to  be  alarmed  at  receiving  none  from  Mrs  Stables,  as 
she  had  withdrawn  One  which  she  had  written,  to  make 
some  Additions  to  it,  and  there  was  not  Time  even  to 
recall  it. — The  Tenor  and  Spirit  of  the  public  Letter 
were  both  highly  injurious  to  your  Husband  and  to 
the  Credit  of  the  Government.  —  You  will  learn  the 
Particulars  from  Major  Scott.  We  have  most  happily 
done  away  the  public  Mischief,  and  my  Mind  has  shaken 
off  its  own  Vexation  derived  from  this  first  Act  of  my 
own  Friends.  The  only  Regret  remaining  on  it  arises 
from  my  Disappointment  in  receiving  no  Letter  from 
Major  Scott,  and  from  the  State  of  Suspense  in  which 
I  still  remain,  on  that  Account.  It  has  vexed  me 
more  than  such  a  Cause  ought,  and  I  am  vexed  that 
it  should  have  so  vexed  me.  It  was  a  small  Alleviation 
to  learn  by  other  Advices  of  the  same  Dispatch  that 
One  of  the  King's  Ships  had  arrived,  and  brought  the 
News  of  the  Arrival  of  the  Atlas  at  St  Helena.  This 
must  therefore  quicken  the  Determination  of  my  De- 
parture, either  by  an  early  Injunction  for  my  Stay,  or 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVII.  361 

by  a  silent  Assent  to  my  own  Intention.  My  Resolu- 
tion is  exactly  what  it  was,  except  in  Point  of  Time. 
I  will  wait  till  the  next  Packet  comes,  which  may  not 
come  this  Month,  and  I  have  already  engaged  the 
Barrington  for  my  Passage.  —  But  let  me  finish  my 
Journal. — On  the  4th  of  this  Month  Mr  Stables  called 
at  Sooksaugur,  and  passed.  I  followed  him  the  same 
Morning,  and  arrived  at  your  gloomy  Mansion  in  Cal- 
cutta between  6  and  7,  after  an  Absence  of  Eight 
Months  and  Eighteen  Days. 

On  the  I7th  I  wrote  to  you  my  last  Number,  which 
with  a  Letter  to  Major  Scott  was  enclosed  in  a  public 
Dispatch  to  England  by  the  Way  of  Bombay  and  Bussora. 
In  my  Letters  to  Scott  I  inserted  a  Copy  of  a  Minute 
which  I  delivered  to  the  Board  on  the  nth  requesting 
that  the  Destination  of  the  Barrington,  which  had  been 
fixed  for  an  early  Dispatch  might  remain  undetermined 
till  I  could  be  certain  of  my  future  Stay  or  Departure ; 
which  was  agreed  to. — Since  that  we  have  again  taken 
up  the  Surprize  to  go  to  England,  and  by  her  I  write 
to  the  Court  of  Directors  to  apprize  them  of  my  Resol- 
ution to  abide  by  the  Tenor  of  their  next  Letter  for  the 
Determination  of  my  Departure  or  Continuance.  To 
that  I  refer  you,  my  dear  Marian,  for  the  clearest  Ex- 
planation of  my  Intentions.  I  shall  enclose  a  Copy  of 
it. — Thus  far  I  have  regulated  my  Conduct  in  this 
critical  Business  with  so  much  Caution  and  Composure 
that  no  One  can  yet  possibly  blame  me.  I  will  be 
guided  for  the  future  Part  which  I  have  to  take  by  the 
strict  Letter  of  the  Declaration  which  I  have  made.  I 
have  consulted  what  was  due  to  my  public  Character 
independent  of  every  private  Consideration.  I  will  per- 


362  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

sist  in  the  same  steady  Course,  and  let  the  Result  be 
what  it  will,  I  will  submit  to  what  I  must,  in  one 
Case,  or  yield  to  what  I  ought  to  do,  and  wish  to  do, 
in  the  other,  though  Death  or  the  Loss  of  all  my 
Friends  were  to  be  the  Consequence.  If  others  are 
capricious  and  unreasonable  in  their  Expectations,  still 
I  will  be  consistent.  I  am  daily  vexed  with  the  reiter- 
ated Instances  of  many,  who  I  know  speak  from  Con- 
viction, and  have  my  Interest  and  Reputation  at  Heart, 
to  give  up  all  Thoughts  of  going  at  any  Rate ;  because, 
they  say,  I  shall  disappoint  my  Friends  at  Home,  and 
act  against  the  Wishes  of  the  Court  of  Directors,  Pro- 
prietors, Ministers,  and  even  the  Public  in  General.  But 
how  am  I  to  know  or  credit  this  ?  The  public  Opinion 
is  only  to  be  inferred  from  disputable  Evidence;  but 
the  Proprietors,  Ministers  and  Directors  can  both  speak 
and  command,  and  if  they  are  wholly  silent,  how  can  I 
at  this  late  Hour  of  my  Life  assume  a  Character  which 
I  have  ever  held  in  Abhorrence,  and  pretend  that  my 
Services  are  too  great  and  important  to  be  spared,  and 
that  in  Deference  to  the  Wishes  of  those  who  have 
never  uttered  them,  and  will  probably  disavow  them, 
I  will  still  remain  in  Office  with  the  Forfeiture  of  Truth 
and  Modesty,  both  opposing  it  in  the  Declarations 
which  I  have  already  made  and  repeated  against  my 
Stay? 

As  to  my  private  Wishes,  these  are  as  strong  as  they 
ever  were ;  but  if  I  have  the  Virtue  to  put  them  out  of 
the  Question,  and  form  my  Determination  on  Grounds 
of  public  Obligation,  I  satisfy  my  own  Mind,  and  that 
will  bear  me  above  all  the  Reproaches  of  all  Mankind. 
Twice  have  I  told  the  Court  of  Directors  that  I  would 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVII.  363 

go.  Every  Letter  written  since  to  Major  Scott  con- 
firmed and  added  to  the  Declaration,  Sir  Elijah  carried 
with  him  my  positive  verbal  Assurance,  corroborated 
by  a  Knowledge  of  the  minutest  Grounds  of  it ;  Dr 
Campbell  will  have  told  them  that  I  was  disqualified  by 
the  Decay  of  my  Constitution  from  remaining,  and  your 
Departure  was,  and  ought  to  be  so  received,  a  Demon- 
stration of  my  Resolution  unalterable  but  by  the  Reser- 
vation which  I  originally  annexed  to  it,  and  have  as 
often  repeated  as  the  Resolution  itself.  —  Knowing  all 
this  my  Superiors  may  detain  me.  I  cannot  detain 
myself;  and  their  making  no  Effort  to  detain  me  is 
virtually  a  Command  to  depart :  And  I  will  obey  it. — 
But  I  have  already  exhausted  the  Subject.  Many  are 
the  Reasons  which  compell  me — yet  at  least — to  main- 
tain my  Resolution.  Not  One  do  I  know,  or  can 
devise  against  it. 

As  I  have  excluded  the  Consideration  of  what  I  owe 
to  you,  and  every  Regard  to  my  own  internal  Happiness 
which  I  never  can  regain  without  you ;  so  have  I  also 
disregarded  every  Consideration  of  my  Health.  Be  not 
alarmed  at  what  follows. 

I  left  Calcutta  on  the  lyth  of  February  with  a  Fever 
oppressing  me,  which  made  me  apprehend  the  Possibility 
at  least  of  Danger  from  the  Length,  Fatigue  and  Ex- 
posure of  my  Journey  to  the  Vicissitudes  of  the  Weather. 
I  only  considered  what  was  right,  not  what  was  safe  or 
easy.  But  the  Event  proved  that  in  yielding  to  the 
former  I  secured  the  latter ;  for,  except  a  slight  Fever 
which  seized  me  with  every  threatening  Symptom,  and 
left  me  in  Seven  Hours,  on  the  20th  of  July,  I  possessed 
a  more  firm  and  regular  Habit  of  Health  during  the 


364  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

whole  Period  of  my  Absence,  than  I  had  known  since 
my  Return  to  Calcutta  in  February,  1782.  The  Exer- 
cise, Change  of  Air,  and  Ease  from  hourly  Importunity, 
may  have  worked  the  first  Impression ;  but  the  dry  and 
elastic  Atmosphere  of  Owd  and  Benaris  certainly  con- 
firmed it.  Perhaps  I  should  again  experience  the  same 
Effects  from  the  same  Causes,  if  I  were  to  have  Recourse 
to  them,  which  God  in  his  infinite  Mercy  forbid,  for  I 
should  revive  into  bodily  Health  and  die  of  Vexation. 
But  from  the  Evening  of  my  Arrival  in  Calcutta  to  this 
Day,  I  have  not  enjoyed  a  Moment  of  bodily  Ease,  but 
have  had  all  the  Devils  of  Languor,  Dejection  of  Spirits 
(a  Thing  unknown  at  Lucnow),  nightly  Oppression, 
feverish  Heat  and  Head  aches,  which  I  had  for  my 
Companions  the  last  Year  at  this  season  of  it. — The 
swelling  of  my  left  Ankle,  which  had  left  me  almost  3 
Months  ago,  has  returned  with  its  former  Violence,  and 
Dr  Balfour  suspects  worse  Evils  lurking  within  me.  For 
these  Reasons  I  eat  no  Supper,  go  to  Bed  at  Ten, 
abstain  wholly  from  Wine  and  every  other  Liquid  but 
Tea  and  Water:  I  ride  every  Morning  and  gently,  and 
use  the  cold  Bath  as  often  as  I  ride,  and  will  oftener 
if  I  am  prevented  from  riding.  If  this  will  not  do,  I 
will  diet  myself  on  Pishpash,  or  Bread  and  Water,  or 
live  like  Cornaro  on  the  daily  Subsistence  of  an  Egg, 
but  I  will  have  Health  in  some  Way,  though  I  may  forgo 
all  the  Blessings  of  it. — Blessings  ?  What  Blessings  can 
it  yield  me  ?  Let  me  have  but  Existence,  and  Freedom 
from  Pain,  with  the  full  Exercise  of  my  mental  Faculties, 
and  I  desire  no  more,  till  I  see  the  last  Sight  of  Saugur 
Island. 

My  Friend  Wilkins  has  lately  made  me  a  Present  of 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVII.  365 

a  most  wonderful  Work  of  Antiquity,  and  I  am  going 
to  present  it  to  the  Public.  Among  many  Precepts  of 
fine  Morality  I  am  particularly  delighted  with  the  fol- 
lowing, because  it  has  been  the  invariable  Rule  of  my 
latter  Life,  and  often  applied  to  the  earlier  State  of  it, 
before  I  had  myself  reduced  it  to  the  Form  of  a  Maxim 
in  writing.  It  is  this  : 

"  Let  the  Motive  be  in  the  Deed,  and  not  in  the  Event. — 
"  Be  not  One  whose  Motive  for  Action  is  the  Hope  of 
Reward.  Let  not  thy  Life  be  spent  in  Inaction. 
Depend  upon  Application "  (that  is,  as  is  afterwards 
explained,  the  Application  of  the  Rule  of  moral  Right 
to  its  consonant  Practice,  without  Care  for  the  Event 
as  it  may  respect  ourselves)  "  perform  thy  Duty,  abandon 
all  Thought  of  the  Consequence,  and  make  the  Event 
equal,  whether  it  terminate  in  Good  or  Evil ;  for  such 
an  Equality  is  called  Application." 

To  this  good  Rule  I  will  adhere,  careless  of  every 
Event  but  One,  and  that  shall  console  me,  though  the 
Voices  of  all  Mankind  shall  cry  out  against  me.  And 
what  is  that  One? — O  God,  grant  me  the  Blessing  of 
a  satisfied  Conscience,  and  my  Marian  to  reward  it ! 

I  must  now  proceed  to  Matters  of  Lighter  Moment. 

The  Begum  has  sent  me  two  Couches,  6  Chairs,  and 
2  Footstools,  of  the  former  Patterns.  They  are  highly 
finished,  and  I  have  them  all  separately,  and  strongly 
packed ;  but  have  not  determined  on  their  Conveyance. 
She  has  added  Two  Chairs  of  Buffalo  Horn,  which  I 
like  better  than  the  Ivory.  They  are  modest,  light  and 
elegant,  and  as  elastic  as  a  Bow. — These  were  all  pre- 
pared for  Display  in  the  Expectation  of  my  stopping 
to  visit  her;  and  great  was  her  Disappointment  at  my 


366  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

passing.  However  they  were  immediately  sent  after  me, 
with  a  Letter  for  you,  which  I  was  charged  with  repeated 
Injunctions  to  convey  carefully  and  speedily  to  you. — 
I  have  taken  the  Liberty  to  give  it  to  Captain  Scott  to 
translate  it,  for  otherwise  its  Contents  will  be  lost  to  you. 
— I  will  send  with  it  by  this  Conveyance  the  Firmaun 
conferring  your  high  Titles,  and  the  Translation. — The 
former  is  a  beautiful  Sheet  of  Paper,  and  that  is  all  its 
Worth,  for  though  your  Virtues  merit  Honors  greater 
than  Kings  can  bestow,  yet  these  will  not  raise  your 
Station  in  Life  an  Inch,  no  not  the  Breadth  of  (a)  Hair, 
above  that  of  Mrs  Hastings  in  your  own  Country  (I  mean 
England,  for  that  is  your  own) ;  nor  were  they  given  to 
your  Worth  even  in  this ;  for  had  you  been  destitute  of 
every  Quality  and  Accomplishment  which  you  possess, 
you  might  have  been  the  Queen  of  Sheba,  the  Goddess 
of  Fortune,  or  whatever  Excellence  you  had  chosen  for 
your  own  Appellation.  —  So  don't  be  proud  of  your 
Titles.  Let  the  Queen  of  Sheba,  if  she  knows  it,  boast 
that  her  Name  is  united  to  yours.  Your  Husband  too 
is  the  adopted  Son  of  a  King,  and  sworn  Brother  of  a 
Prince  royal  and  Heir  apparent.  Yet  the  Height  of 
his  present  Ambition  is  speedily  to  become  a  private 
Gentleman,  and  in  that  Character  all  the  Royalty  that 
now  runs  in  his  Veins  will  be  lost,  and  even  his  great 
Father  will  forget  that  he  gave  it  him.1  Remember  these 
Reflexions  when  you  look  at  your  Firmaun,  and  be  sure 
not  to  forget  them  when  you  shew  it. — I  know  you  will, 
for  my  Marian  has  her  Foible,  and  God  forgive  me,  but 
I  have  known  my  own  Vanity  accompany  hers,  and  have 
gazed  on  her  with  the  full  Eyes  of  Love  and  Delight 

1  This  was  not  the  case.     See  infra,  pp.  433,  434. 


SERIES   III.  —LETTER  XXVII.  367 

when  She  has  allowed  her  Pride,  her  graceful  Pride, 
its  full  Career. 

This  is  meant  as  a  Lesson  against  Pride.  Don't 
mistake  it  for  Encouragement. 

I  have  given  your  Shawls,  which  Johnson  provided 
for  you,  to  Captain  Joe  Price,  who  has  undertaken  to 
convey  them  safe  to  your  Hands,  he  will  not  tell  me 
how;  and  you  may  depend  upon  receiving  them.  I 
will  send  you  a  List  of  them. — I  have  another  Parcel, 
which  are  of  my  own  Provision ;  no  thanks  to  me,  for 
I  did  not  bespeak  them ;  but  they  are  beyond  all  Com- 
parison beautiful,  and  I  will  make  all  possible  Enquiry 
by  what  possible  Means  they  can  get  to  you.  As  to 
the  little  Articles  of  Gloves,  Stockings  and  Blankets, 
the  Spirit  of  wanton  Vexation  must  possess  the  Laws 
of  England  if  these  are  contraband,  and  a  Governor 
General  may  not  clothe  himself  in  woollen.1 

I  will  carry  nothing  to  England  with  myself  that  I 
shall  care  to  lose,  or  (be)  ashamed  to  shew. 

I  am  now  writing  at  Allipoor;  for  it  has  been  put 
up  to  Sale,  and  bought  in  again.  I  have  sold  Rishera 
for  double  the  Sum  that  was  paid  for  it.  This  is  a 
Riddle,  and  I  leave  it  to  your  Sagacity  to  unravel  it. 

I  shall  continue  to  make  this  Place  my  Saturday  and 
Sunday  Residence,  until  I  can  find  a  Purchaser,  or  leave 
the  Country ;  for  I  find  it  a  relief  to  my  Mind,  and  my 
Health  is  certainly  the  better  for  it. 

Mrs  Halhed  is  my  Guest,  and  I  expect  Sir  John  and 
Lady  D'oyly  to  live  with  me  (God  knows  where  I  shall 
put  them),  from  the  I2th  of  this  Month  to  their  Depar- 

1  Nevertheless,  the  Company's  duties  on  his  possessions  came  to  something 
like  ,£1000.  Gleig,  III.  394. 


368  LETTERS  OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

ture.  My  own  Apartments,  and  the  Bed  which  I  once 
shared  with  my  beloved  Marian,  are  all  that  I  reserve 
to  myself,  or  care  for,  and  they  are  sacred. — Halhed  is 
at  Lucnow,  busied  in  the  Execution  of  a  Plan  which 
I  have  concerted  for  his  Return  to  England.  I  wish  he 
was  there,  but  I  hope  to  precede  him.  His  Talents 
were  always  of  the  first  Rate ;  but  they  are  improved 
far  beyond  what  you  knew  them,  and  I  shall  still  require 
them  in  Aid  of  Scott's  Exertions. 

Mrs  Peacock  is  dead,  and  left  the  Charge  of  placing 
her  Daughter,  on  my  Conscience.  But  Larkins  and  his 
excellent  little  Wife  have  relieved  me  by  taking  her  into 
their  House,  which  is  already  filled  with  other  Objects  of 
their  Compassion,  and  are  both  affectionately  kind  to  her. 

Phipps  (poor  Fellow)  has  been  provoked  to  a  Quarrel, 
in  which  he  was  wrong  through  Indiscretion ;  but  has 
gained  more  than  he  has  lost  in  my  Opinion  of  him, 
and  his  Opponent  the  Reverse.  —  I  say  so  much  only 
lest  the  Affair  should  be  mentioned  to  you,  and  be  told 
to  his  Disadvantage.  I  am  very  anxious  to  dispose  of 
him  in  some  creditable  Way  before  I  go ;  but  know  not 
how. — But  I  will  not  leave  him  destitute,  and  am  deter- 
mined to  serve  him  in  some  Period  of  his  Life,  whether 
late  or  early. 

I  shall  write  to  Mrs  Motte.  Yet  tell  her  that  I  ever 
remember  her  with  Affection,  and  bless  her  for  being 
the  Comforter  of  my  sweet  Marian. 

Adieu,  my  Heart's  Beloved.  O  ever  love  me,  for  no 
Man  ever  merited  by  Love  a  larger  return  of  it  than  I 
do. — May  the  God  of  infinite  Goodness  bless  and  support 
and  protect  you  !  Amen  !  Amen  ! 

Amen !  W.  HASTINGS. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVIII.  369 


LETTER    XXVIII. 

This  letter  is  reassuring  on  the  subject  of  Mrs  Hastings' 
response  to  the  devotion  lavished  upon  her  by  her  hus- 
band. Her  letters  to  him — not  one  of  which  is  known  to 
have  survived — must  have  been  as  long  and  as  rich  in 
detail  as  his  own.  Moreover,  since  he  possessed  the  pen 
of  a  ready  writer,  and  she  wrote  English  as  a  foreign 
tongue,  they  must  have  represented  even  greater  labour 
and  determination.  The  extreme  care  which  he  took  of 
them  makes  it  probable  that  he  preserved  them,  as  he  did 
such  a  vast  accumulation  of  less  intimate  papers,  to  the 
end  of  his  life,  while  the  anxiety  she  betrays  lest  they 
should  meet  the  eyes  of  anyone  else  makes  it  almost 
certain  that  she  destroyed  them  at  his  death. 

The  Calcutta  hour  for  DINNER  was  three  in  the  after- 
noon, as  we  learn  from  '  Hartly  House.'  After  the  meal 
ladies  and  gentlemen  alike  were  accustomed  to  retire  to 
their  rooms  for  a  nap,  previous  to  a  second  visit  from  the 
hairdresser  to  prepare  them  for  their  evening  engage- 
ments. It  will  be  remembered  that  in  Letter  IV.  Hast- 
ings says  that  since  his  wife's  departure  he  has  avoided 
resting  in  the  afternoons,  so  as  to  make  sure  of  sleeping 
at  night  through  weariness. 

The  LITTLE  HORSE  is  of  course  the  grey  Arab  in- 
tended for  the  King.1  The  POOR  FAVORITE  mentioned 
later  as  having  died  would  seem  to  be  a  horse  of  Mrs 
Hastings'  own,  which  she  had  taken  with  her  against  her 
husband's  advice. 

With  regard  to  the  medical  details  in  this  letter,  it 
must  be  remembered  that  Hastings  was  still  under  the 
influence  of  the  hopes  excited  by  his  wife's  letter  from  St 
Helena.  It  is  curious  to  notice  how  unsatisfactory  was 
the  best  accommodation  that  could  be  provided  for  her 
on  shipboard,  in  spite  of  all  the  care  and  expense  he  had 

1  See  infra,  pp.  395,  396. 
2  A 


370  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

lavished  upon  it.  The  state-cabin  was  situated  under  the 
roundhouse,  and  together  they  formed  the  best  part  of 
the  ship.  When  Hastings  went  to  India  in  1769  the 
roundhouse  was  reserved  for  him,  while  Baron  Imhoff 
and  his  wife  occupied  the  state-cabin  below.  The  round- 
house was  generally  reserved  for  male  passengers,  or  used 
merely  as  a  sitting-room,  since  it  was  liable  to  the  incur- 
sions of  the  ship's  officers  when  soundings  had  to  be 
taken.  Captain  Price  mentions  that  when  the  globe- 
trotter Macintosh  and  an  experienced  civilian  were  his 
passengers  in  the  Royal  Charlotte  from  Madras  to  Cal- 
cutta, they  both  slung  their  cots  in  the  roundhouse, 
where  he  heard  them  disputing  night  and  day  when  he 
passed  through  to  observe  the  depth  of  water  from  the 
balcony. 

A  REZY  (rasai)  is  a  wadded  quilt. 

The  fact  that  Mrs  Hastings'  ship  had  "  missed  the 
Cape  "  must  have  led  to  her  missing  also  her  husband's 
first  seven  letters,  which  were  addressed  to  her  there,  and 
which  she  probably  did  not  receive  until  she  had  been 
some  time  in  London. 

Hastings  kept  his  promise  of  being  MRS  GREENTREE'S 
guest  at  St  Helena  on  his  homeward  voyage.  His  diary, 
as  quoted  by  Sir  C.  Lawson,  reads : — "  Received  by  the 
Governor  (Mr  Corneille)  at  the  landing-place.  Supped 
with  him.  Put  up  at  Mr  Greentree's.  ijth  (Sunday). 
Rode  before  breakfast  to  Mr  Greentree's  country  house 
and  dined  there.  Passed  the  morning  in  visiting  the 
island.  .  .  .  igth.  At  9  rode  with  the  Governor  to  Long- 
wood."  This  last  journey  is  recalled  in  a  letter  of  David 
Anderson's  in  1815  : — "  When  we  were  riding  among  the 
Hills  of  St  Helena  about  30  Years  ago  we  could  form  no 
Conception  of  the  Importance  which  that  little  island 
was  to  acquire." 

Mr  NATHANIEL  SMITH  was  a  member  of  the  Court  of 
Directors  who  took  special  interest  in  the  work  of  trans- 
lation from  Eastern  languages.  He  gave  Hastings  his 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVIII.  371 

support  in  the  great  task,  performed  by  Halhed,  of  mak- 
ing available  in  English  the  body  of  Mohammedan  law. 

The  letters  from  the  Prince,  Munny  Begum  and 
Jonathan  Scott,  mentioned  as  enclosed  with  this  one, 
are  not  found  in  the  MS. 


ALLIPOOR,  Sunday  the  $th  of  December,  1784. 
closed  the  8th  at  Night. 

(Endorsed,  "  Received  May  the  19.") 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN,  —  I  am  now  again  reading 
your  most  delightful,  though  painful  Letter,  and  shall 
employ  the  Afternoon  in  finishing  the  Perusal  of  it. 
I  have  enclosed  it  in  a  Case,  and  I  keep  it  in  my 
private  Box,  which  I  always  carry  with  me,  both  for 
Privacy,  and  for  the  ready  Means  of  looking  into  it, 
when  I  can  command  the  Leisure  and  Solitude  which 
can  fit  me  for  it.  These  Advantages  I  never  possess. 
The  Afternoons  indeed  are  always  my  own  ;  but  since 
my  Return  to  Calcutta  I  have  never  been  able  to  sit 
up  after  Dinner.  This  Day  and  yesterday*  I  am  better 
and  stouter  than  I  have  been,  which  I  ascribe  partly 
to  the  Change  of  the  Weather,  and  partly  to  the  Re- 
newal of  my  Morning  Rides  and  cold  Water.  —  But 
what  a  Wretch  am  I  to  talk  of  myself,  when  my  Marian 
is  before  me! — Yes,  my  lovely  Marian,  you  are  before 
me.  Your  delightful  Looks,  your  enchanting  Voice, 
even  your  Touch — (O  God !  once  more  make  them 
substantially  mine !  — )  successively  take  Possession  of 
my  Senses  as  I  read  the  animated  Picture  of  your  Mind, 
its  Sentiments  and  its  Sufferings.  I  can  bear  the 
Description  now.  It  racked  my  Feelings,  and  made 
me  almost  feverish,  when  I  first  read  it,  because  my 


372  LETTERS   OF  WARREN   HASTINGS. 

Passions  were  wholly  occupied   by  their   present   Sym- 
pathy,  and   I    knew   not  what   was   to  follow.  —  I   now 
know  all,  and  bless  many  of  the  cruel  Symptoms  which 
gave  me  Pain  when  I  read  of  them. — All?    No!  not  all! 
I  only  know  that  you  departed  from  St  Helena  on  the 
I5th  of  May  in  perfect  Health,  and  in  the  full  Assur- 
ance  of   being    in    a    State   which   might   in   its    Event 
make  me  most  truly  the  happiest  of  all  Mankind.     But 
in  the  unknown  Interval  which  has  followed  what  may 
not  have  happened  to  make  me  the  most  wretched !     A 
Length  yet  remaining  of  Agitation  on  the  great  Ocean ; 
A  total  Change  of  Climate  approaching ;  perhaps  Tem- 
pests, I  will  not  imagine  worse ;  the  Fatigue  of  landing, 
of  travelling  Seventy  long  Miles  in  a  Condition  of  Body 
requiring  Ease   and   Repose  even  in  the  most  healthy ; 
the  various  Agitations  of  Mind,  and  consequent  Affec- 
tions of  the  Body  on  your  arrival  in  London,  reiterated 
with   every   dear    Connection,    and    with    every   Friend 
that   approaches   to  bid   you  welcome;    How  will   your 
tender    Frame  bear  all   this  ?      Yet   it  has  borne  more, 
and  I  thank  God  that  you  will  have  arrived  in  London 
at  a  Season  when   all  the  World  is  out  of  Town,  and 
will    have    found    a    House    furnished    and    completely 
fitted  for  your  Reception.1      I  will  also  believe,  for  my 
vast    Love   for    you    has   made    me    superstitious,   that 
your  Virtues  will   secure  to   you   a   better   Destiny.      I 
will   believe   that    I    am  myself  in  the   Course   of  good 
Fortune ;    for    I    can    scarce    trace   my    Life    for    some 
Years   back  even  to  the  greatest  Disappointments  of  it 
but  to  be  convinced  that  they  led  to  some  Good  which 
made   me  rejoice   that   they   had    befallen   me.      I    will 

1  See  infra,  p.  393. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVIII.  373 

believe  that  I  am  now  a  blessed  Being,  and  most 
fervently  pray  that  I  may  die,  though  instantly,  in  that 
Belief,  if  the  Reverse  of  this  has  actually  come  to  pass. 
— But  I  must  not  forget  your  Letter,  of  which  the  first 
four  Sheets  lie  separate  before  me,  and  shall  be  first 
dispatched.  These  exact  my  first  Thanks  for  the 
Method  which  you  have  taken  to  inform  me  of  the 
successive  Events  and  Changes  which  you  experienced 
in  your  Voyage.  I  sail  with  you,  as  I  read,  and  almost 
hear  you  talk  to  me. — I  am  not  a  little  pleased  that 
the  Form  of  my  Letters  is  not  wholly  different  from 
yours ;  only  that  I  had  frequent  Opportunities  of  sending 
mine  in  detached  Parts,  which  you  could  not  do  with 
yours.  But  you  will  receive  in  Detachments  a  very 
close  and  connected  Series  of  my  Adventures,  wonder- 
fully unimportant  as  they  would  appear  to  any  Reader 
but  her  to  whom  they  are  addressed,  and  as  connected 
and  faithful  a  Display  of  the  Mind  which  wrote  them. — 
How  will  it  grieve  me,  if  you  should  lose  any  of  them ! 
— except  the  first ;  for  those,  I  remember,  were  peevish, 
desponding  and  unmanly. 

The  next  Remark  which  strikes  me  in  your  Letter, 
and  for  which  I  feel  a  Sentiment  greatly  resembling 
that  of  Thanksgiving,  is  the  wonderful  Similitude 
between  your  Thoughts  and  mine.  While  I  read 
yours  I  think  I  am  reading  my  own ;  for  their  original 
Impulse  still  remains  unvaried  through  all  its  pro- 
ductive Movements,  though  I  cannot  remember  a  single 
Expression  that  I  have  written. — A  few  Feelings  only 
are  retained  in  their  original  Expression  by  being 
clothed  with  a  poetical  Dress,  but  my  Poetry,  mean 
as  it  may  be,  was  never  indebted  to  Fancy,  and  derives 


374  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

its  Inspiration  but  from  one  Source,  which  is  the  same 
as  that  which  furnished  the  more  expressive,  but  not 
more  genuine  Thoughts  of  your  Letter.  I  could  give 
you  Extracts  from  yours  which  require  but  Rhyme 
and  Measure  to  make  exactly  my  own.  I  will  not 
repeat  them :  Yet  I  may  be  permitted  to  borrow  One, 
and  One  only,  which  I  am  sure  comes  as  nearly  to  my 
own  Feelings  as  it  parted  from  yours.  "  My  Mind 
often,  and  often,  drew  a  Picture  of  my  State  when 
bereft  of  all  that  was  dearer  to  her  than  Life.  The  Shade 
it  cast  was  dark  and  strong ;  but  still  I  COULD  SEE  AT  A 
DISTANCE  A  GLIMMERING  RAY,  which  like  the  Sun  after 
a  long  Absence  cheered  and  warmed  my  drooping 
Spirits :  but  alas !  where  are  they  ?  What  an  obscure 
and  dreary  Way  have  I  yet  to  traverse  till  my  Eyes  shall 
again  behold  that  Light  which  gives  me  Life  !  "  I  am 
sure  you  will  easily  recollect  the  Passage  which  cor- 
responds with  this,  and  in  one  Part  almost  literally.1 
My  Marian,  it  was  your  Genius  which  mixed  itself 
with  mine,  and  dictated  to  me.  I  am  sure  that  I  felt 
it.  At  some  Time  or  other  I  will  prove  to  you  that 
there  is  not  in  all  that  Production  One  Idea  or  Image 
which  was  not  also  your  own ;  perhaps  borrowed  by 
Sympathy  from  you.  Let  this  be  to  you  a  Demonstra- 
tion of  the  Warmth  of  my  Affections,  as  I  trust  to  it 
for  the  Proof — but  do  I  want  One  ? — of  yours. 

I  too,  my  Marian,  have  often  reproached  myself,  and 

1  The  passage  referred  to  is  probably  the  following,   quoted   by  Sir   C. 
Lawson  from  "  Rooroo  and  Promodbora  "  : — 

"  Hope  still  attendant  and  delusive  stands, 
And  points,  but  coldly  points,  to  distant  lands  ; 
Gilds  their  faint  summits  with  her  flatt'ring  ray ; 
But  deserts,  rocks,  and  seas  obstruct  the  way ; 
And  age,  and  sickness,  and  the  clouds  that  teem 
With  unknown  thunders,  through  the  prospect  gleam." 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVIII.  375 

sometimes  ungenerously  murmured  at  you,  for  our 
Separation.  It  was,  I  own,  my  Act.  But  do  not  give 
me  Credit  for  it.  I  was  provoked  and  intimidated  to 
it.  I  was  told  by  every  One  that  it  was  absolutely 
necessary.  Somebody — I  forget  who  :  I  believe  it  was 
Sir  Elijah ; — put  the  dreadful  Case  to  me  ;  that  should 
you  stay,  and  fall  a  Sacrifice  to  my  Weakness,  how 
would  I  reproach  myself  as  the  Cause  of  your  Death. 
You  too  once  said  feelingly,  speaking  of  some  Lady 
who  died  :  "  Ah  !  She  staid  a  Year  too  long." — These 
Reflexions  stung  me,  and  fastened  on  my  Resolution. — 
Yet  am  I  now  glad  that  it  was  so.  —  I  now  persuade 
myself  that  it  has  been  the  Cause  of  saving  your  Life, 
and  (O  God*  grant*  it*!)  of  giving  Life  to  One 
Pledge  of  our  Love  for  which  I  would  almost  give  my 
own.  Perhaps  too  it  has  been  the  Preservation  of  my 
own ;  for  I  am  not  sure  that  I  should  have  left  Calcutta 
had  you  staid  in  it. 

*  *  *  The  Words  thus  marked  were  written  by  Im- 
pulse, and  without  reflecting  that  the  Event  to  which 
it  relates  is  now  past  the  Course  of  Fate.  It  has 
happened,  or  is  impossible.  But  I  will  let  the  Words 
stand  for  a  happy  Omen. — Am  I  not  superstitious  ? 

Shall  I  tell  you,  that  I  often  amused  myself  with 
the  wild,  but  deluding  Imagination  that  you  would  re- 
turn, and  have  been  angry  with  Mrs  Motte,  whom  I 
heard  dissuading  you. — You  ask  me,  "  whether  I  should 
have  been  glad,  or  sorry,  to  have  seen  my  Marian,"  and 
add  (too  coolly)  "  you  will  believe,  the  first." — Gladness 
would  ill  express  the  State  of  my  Mind  on  such  a 
Surprise :  And  Phipps  assures  me  that  if  there  had 
been  a  Ship  at  St  Helena  to  bring  you,  he  is  con- 


376  LETTERS   OF  WARREN   HASTINGS. 

vinced,  you  would  have  come  back  in  it. — As  this  has 
not  happened,  I  can  say,  I  am  glad  of  it.  Your  Return 
might  have  lengthened  the  Duration  of  my  Stay  in 
India,  and  proved  mortal  to  both. — Now  I  must  go. 

I  thank  you  for  your  Care  of  yourself.  Your  Mode 
of  living  was  also  very  like  my  own.  I  was  always  in 
Bed  by  Ten,  and  dressed  before  Sunrise.  I  am  com- 
pelled to  exceed  in  Calcutta ;  but  not  very  much,  and 
I  have  found  that  when  I  can  adhere  to  my  early 
Hours,  and  morning  Rides,  I  get  tolerable  Health.  I 
have  also  made  Trial  of  a  total  Abstinence  from  Wine, 
of  which  I  have  already  experienced  the  Benefit,  and 
will  continue  it. 

Yes,  my  beloved,  we  will  have  many  Walks  together, 
and  infinitely  more  delightful  than  those  of  Allipoor : — 
And  many  an  Excursion  too  from  home.  I  have  a 
Variety  of  Schemes  of  Pleasure  playing  in  my  Imagin- 
ation, which  will  all  derive  their  Relish  from  your 
Society,  and  your  Participation  of  them.  Let  me  but 
follow  and  be  once  more  in  Possession  of  my  Heart's 
Treasure.  I  care  not  for  what  may  happen  without 
Doors,  if  I  have  but  what  I  wish  within.  I  thank  you 
for  your  Kindness  to  my  little  Horse,  and  the  Mango 
Plants;  not  that  I  care  three  Cowries  for  the  latter, 
and  when  I  think  of  you,  as  little  do  I  care  for  the 
former  ;  but  these  are  the  Indications  of  Affection,  and 
therefore  I  am  delighted  to  be  told  of  them. — Apropos  : 
poor  Sulliman  begins  to  grow  old,  and  wants  the  Vigor 
which  he  had,  though  he  retains  his  Spirit.  I  have 
resolved  to  leave  him,  as  you  did  Beauty,  under 
Charge  of  Thompson,  who  will  be  kind  to  him  for 
your  Sake  and  mine  as  long  as  he  lives. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVIII.  377 

I  still  shudder  as  I  read  the  Accounts  of  your  repeated 
Attacks  of  Sickness,  though  I  know  their  Effects  are 
past.  But  how  shall  I  make  you  conceive  the  Love, 
Gratitude,  and  the  Longings  of  Impatience  (I  have  no 
other  Language  to  express  it)  which  arise  in  my  Breast 
and  with  which  my  Heart  overflows,  and  my  Eyes 
glisten,  from  the  generous  Sentiments  which  accompany 
these  cruel  Descriptions.  I  well  know  the  Quality  and 
Power  of  those  Sentiments  by  my  own.  I  have  not 
indeed  had  the  same  Occasions  to  excite  them ;  but  I  was 
seized  on  the  2Oth  of  July  with  a  sudden  Fever,  which 
burst  out  with  all  the  Appearances  of  that  which  I  had 
in  August,  1782,  though  it  lasted  but  a  few  hours.  O ! 
could  I  tell  you  how  dearly  your  Image  took  Possession 
of  my  Senses  in  that  solitary  and  painful  Interval,  how 
often  I  reflected  on  the  Relief  that  in  a  like  Condition 
I  once  received  from  your  unexampled  Kindness,  and 
regretted  with  an  aching  Heart  the  Want  of  your 
animating  Presence  at  that  Time ;  you  would  see  in  my 
Mind  the  exact  Reflection  of  your  own,  all  but  its 
Elegance  and  tender  Delicacy.  "  My  Marian,"  I  said, 
"is  ignorant  and  unsuspecting  of  what  may  befall  me; 
no  Letters,  nor  the  Disappointment  of  them,  can  pro- 
voke her  to  set  at  Nought  her  Life  for  the  Safety  of 
mine,  and  God  forbid  that  her  Tenderness  should  again 
undergo  so  dangerous  a  Trial !  " — I  knew  that  if  it  were 
possible  for  me  to  be  blessed  with  your  Presence,  I 
should  find  you  as  anxiously  watchful  for  my  Safety, 
and  feel  the  same  Effect  of  your  Kindness  that  I  had 
done : — I  regretted  the  Want  of  it,  and  at  the  same  Time 
blamed  the  Indiscretion  that  had  ever  allowed  you,  in 
Breach  of  my  Resolution  and  the  established  Maxim  of 


37^         LETTERS  OF  WARREN  HASTINGS. 

Years,  to  approach  me  in  the  Hour  of  Sickness.  For 
this  I  a  thousand  Times  reproach  myself,  and  think  I 
know  how  to  prevent  the  like  Weakness  hereafter. — Yet 
would  I  give  the  World  to  attend  you,  had  you  the  same 
Occasion ;  for  even  Sickness  has  not  the  Power  of  making 
you  unlovely,  and  I  am  sure  it  has  ever  heightened  my 
Love  with  the  Sight  of  your  Sufferings,  and  the  Dread 
of  worse. 

I  thank  God,  I  see  you  safe  in  the  round  House.  I 
know  not  how  it  escaped  me ;  but  I  remember  that  when 
I  was  on  board,  I  took  Notice  that  whenever  the  Door 
of  your  Cabin  opened  a  most  foul  Air  entered  it  from  the 
Steerage,  and  I  am  sure  it  must  have  occurred  to  me 
that  you  would  be  better  above.  —  I  have  profited  by 
your  Injunction,  and  have  already  engaged  my  Birth 
above  Stairs. — To  your  Prayer  I  join,  Amen.  And 
"  may  God  bless  You,  and  give  us  a  happy  Meeting  in 
England ! " 

It  is  very  extraordinary.  In  the  Abstract  of  my 
Journal,  which  you  shall  see  for  Proof  when  we  meet, 
are  these  Words,  literally  copied : — "  gth  February,  taken 
ill.  .  .  .  igth  .  .  .  My  Fever  gone." 

I  this  Instant  discovered  a  wonderful  Coincidence  of 
your  Journal  with  mine.  A  Continuation  of  your  Letter 
is  dated  Sunday  the  7th  of  February,  which  is  a  Mistake; 
for  Sunday  was  the  8th. — The  next  Continuation  is  dated 
the  igth,  and  mentions  that  you  had  been  very  ill  from 
the  Day  following,  so  ill  that  you  would  not  afflict  me 
with  the  Description  of  it ;  that  you  had  slept  well  the 
preceding  Night,  and  that  you  were  then  better,  and  in 
the  Course  of  the  Day  you  inform  me  that  your  Sickness 
had  entirely  left  you  : — so  that  you  must  have  been  taken 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVIII.  379 

ill  at  the  same  Instant  that  I  was,  and  recovered  at  the 
same  Instant  that  I  did.  And  at  the  same  Instant  you 
changed  your  Atmosphere  by  ascending  from  the  great 
Cabin  to  the  Roundhouse,  and  I  the  foul  Air  of  Calcutta 
for  the  wholesomer  Climate  of  Murshedabad,  Benaris 
and  Lucnow,  which  "  I  found  (to  use  your  own  Words) 
not  only  more  quiet,  but  a  great  Deal  cooler." — I  am 
delighted  at  this  Agreement,  for  I  do  not  care  for  the 
Illness  which  you  have  had,  and  of  which  the  Effects 
are  all  long  since  departed. — I  am  mightily  pleased,  and 
if  any  body  should  read  this  but  yourself,  he  would  say, 
"  and  mightily  foolish  :  "—And  let  them  say  it.  All  the 
wisemen  that  have  ever  written  about  Love  have  agreed 
to  call  it  a  Folly,  and  to  pronounce  him  only  truly  wise 
and  truly  happy  who  can  confine  his  Search  of  Happiness 
to  himself  alone,  and  is  totally  exempt  from  all  Impres- 
sion of  external  Accidents.  In  this  Sense  I  am  far  gone 
in  Folly  indeed,  so  far  that  I  had  rather  be  miserable 
with  my  present  Feelings,  than  cured  by  Apathy. 

And  may  God  bless  you  for  "the  Care  which  you  take 
of  that  Marian  of  mine  !  " 

No,  my  beloved :  you  do  your  Friends  Injustice.  I 
am  sure  that  you  have  many  who  even  yet  regret  you ; 
and  all  Man  and  Woman  kind  seem  to  be  in  Rapture 
at  the  good  News  which  Phipps  brought  from  St 
Helena.  Be  just  to  yourself.  Yours  is  a  Character 
that  reflects  an  Honor  on  Humanity;  and  every 
generous  Mind,  even  if  it  knows  you  not,  takes  a  Part 
in  the  Incidents  of  your  Fortune,  as  they  read  with 
Pain  and  Pleasure  the  varied  Train  of  good  and  evil 
which  occurs  in  the  fabled  History  of  the  virtuous 
Heroine  of  a  Romance. — And  what  must  be  my  Feelings 


380  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

in  such  a  Recital  ?— I  will  tell  you  one  of  them. — I  am 
vexed  that  no  Body  will  talk  of  you  to  me.  It  was  the 
Case,  even  when  you  were  with  me.  No  one  ever 
mentioned  your  Name  to  me,  except  in  the  common 
Forms  of  Civility. — I  must  except  Mrs  Samson.  She 
would  praise  you  to  me  for  an  Hour  together,  and  had 
she  been  fond  of  talking,  it  was  the  sure  Way  to  engross 
all  the  Conversation  to  herself;  for  I  never  interrupted 
her,  but  to  encourage  her  to  lengthen  the  Subject. 

I  now  come  to  the  most  easy — but  not  yet  the  most 
pleasing  Part  of  your  Letter. — It  mends  in  every  Page. 
I  read  of  nothing  but  encreasing  Strength,  the  success- 
ful Return  to  Bathing,  and  hearty  Dinners : — but  Good 
God !  I  am  interrupted  in  my  Triumph  by  a  Reflexion 
on  the  past.  O  what  have  I  escaped,  and  how  wretched 
I  might  have  been !  but  it  is  all  past ;  and  I  will  yet 
see  you  happy,  and  be  happy  with  you. 

How  sweetly  playful,  how  bewitching,  my  Marian  is 
when  she  is  in  Spirits,  and  how  perfectly  in  her  Ex- 
pression and  Manner  different  from  all  the  rest  of 
Womankind!  You  cannot  conceive  how  powerfully 
your  Image  starts  up  before  me  as  I  read  some  Passages 
which  are  most  characteristical  of  you.  I  hear  you,  and 
see  you,  and  am  miserable  that  I  have  you  not  before 
me  to  indulge  the  Rapture  which  you  have  often  known 
me  indulge,  without  a  Sense  of  Shame,  though  all  the 
World  were  present;  and  so  I  will  again. — God  help 
me !  my  Letters  have  no  Entertainment  in  them ;  for 
I  never  wrote  one,  but  under  the  Impression  of  Grief, 
and  Despondency.  But  no  Wonder.  Think  what  a 
Number  of  Transmutations  I  was  to  undergo,  like  the 
Hindoo  Soul  in  its  Progress  to  eternal  Repose,  before  I 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVIII.  381 

could  obtain  mine  in  the  Bosom  of  ( — forgive  me,  my 
pious  Marian — I  cannot  suppress  it — )  the  Deity  of  my 
Religion.  You  know,  that  I  have  a  thousand  Times 
told  you  that  I  wished  for  no  other  Heaven,  and  I  am 
now  sure  that  in  any  other  I  should  be  dissatisfied  and 
discontented. 

I  had  to  go  to  Lucnow,  with  my  Back  turned  to  the 
Course  by  which  I  should  follow  you :  I  had  to  stay 
there  God  knows  how  long : — I  had  to  encounter  un- 
known Difficulties,  which  I  knew  would  come :  I  had  to 
surmount  these,  to  break  through  all  Impediments  and 
return  : — I  had  to  stop  at  Benaris,  and  be  detained  there : 
— I  had  to  return  to  Calcutta;  to  cut  off  a  thousand 
Strings  that  tied  me  to  the  Service,  and  hindered  my 
Departure : — I  had  to  depart,  and  perhaps  in  the  Instant 
of  my  setting  my  Foot  on  the  Ship's  Deck  that  was  to 
carry  me,  receive  Letters  from  England  requiring  and 
compelling  me  to  stay  where  I  was.  —  I  had  worse 
Thoughts,  dreadfully  bad  Ones,  my  Marian,  Dreams  of 
Death,  and  Impressions  which  like  Disease,  fixed  on 
my  waking  Spirits.  You,  my  Love,  had  only  Sickness 
and  Sorrow  opposed  to  the  Hope  of  my  following  you 
in  twelve  Months,  and  rejoining  you  at  furthest  in 
Eighteen.  Besides,  my  Mind  is  naturally  gloomy,  and 
yours  Sprightliness  itself,  which  has  sometimes  changed 
the  Quality  of  mine.  As  an  ancient  Poet  speaking  of 
his  Marian  says  : — 

.  .  .  "And  Sprightliness,  whose  Influence  none  can  feel 
But  catch  th'  Infection,  and  enliven'd  grow." — 

I  am  ashamed  of  your  Caution,  but  I  have  told  you, 
and  repeat,  that  I  have  made  a  Case  for  your  Letters, 


382  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

which  no  One  about  me  would  dare  to  untie,  and  to 
this  Hour  it  has  never  been  out  of  my  Possession.  I 
keep  it  locked  in  a  private  Box,  and  for  further 
Security  I  will  from  this  Day  seal  the  Case  as  often  as 
I  put  up  the  Letter.  —  I  have  already  obeyed  your  In- 
junction about  the  Roundhouse,  and  am  grieved  that 
my  Advice  was  so  hurtful  to  you. —  I  don't  remember 
it.  And  I  will  bathe  in  the  Balcony. — What  will  I  not 
do  for  "  the  Pleasure  of  obliging  my  Marian  ?  "  I  will 
even  submit  to  that  which  would  be  pleasing  had  she 
not  desired  it. — Wonderful  Proof  of  Goodness ! 

I  tremble  as  I  begin  again  to  read  the  History  of  the 
Tempest  which  assaulted  you  in  March.  But  my  Fears 
are  less  for  your  Safety  than  for  another  Cause,  which 
still  haunts  me  with  a  perpetual  Apprehension.  I  thank 
God  however  that  after  suffering  such  Alarms  and 
Fatigues  for  3  Days  and  Nights  you  could  write  at 
the  Close  of  them,  "  I  am  now  as  well  again  as  I  was 
before  the  violent  Gale." — Those  Words  give  Strength 
and  Credit  to  the  Assurances  made  me  by  Francis1 
yesterday  (this  is  the  7th)  on  my  mentioning  my  Fears 
for  the  Effects  of  the  Fatigues  which  you  had  yet  to 
undergo.  I  need  not  repeat  what  he  said  (see  the  next 
page — ),  but  it  has  made  me  perfectly  easy. — Yet  I 
dare  not  yet  promise  myself  the  Blessing,  which  may 
be  at  this  Time  mine. — It  is  so  great  an  Event  that 
my  Fears,  even  against  my  Reason,  overcome  my 
Hope  of  it. — I  shall  soon  know  the  Truth ;  but  I  shall 
still  be  tormented  with  Fears,  and  so  I  shall  be  till  I 
have  you,  if  I  ever  shall,  in  my  Charge  and  Possession. 

I  grieve  for  your  poor  Favorite;    but  as  I  knew  you 

1  Dr  Clement  Francis. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVIII.  383 

would  lose  her,  I  am  comforted  that  you  knew  it  not 
at  the  Time. 

I  am  now  come  to  another  Tempest,  and  a  worse 
than  the  first.  This  is  very  cruel,  and  though  I  know 
that  it  passed  without  Consequence,  I  yet  shudder  as 
I  go  on  in  the  Recital.  Your  Situation,  the  Want  of 
Rest,  the  violent  Agitation  of  the  Ship,  the  Vexation 
of  seeing  and  hearing  all  the  Moveables  of  your  Cabin 
tumble  about  you,  the  Pain  in  your  Back,  Seven 
Days  of  Unquiet  and  Apprehension,  and  above  all  the 
dreadful  Fall  of  the  Globe  Lantern ;  what  might  not 
have  been  the  Consequence  of  so  many  complicated 
Assaults  on  my  poor  Marian's  tender  Frame,  especially 
the  last !  how  fatal  to  our  Hopes,  and  even  to  our 
Existence,  for  I  am  convinced  that  mine  is  bound  to 
yours ;  and  I  hope  it  is.  But  I  ought  not  to  com- 
plain, since  it  has  proved  the  Strength  of  your  Con- 
stitution in  that  Particular  about  which  I  am  now  most 
anxious ;  and  Francis  has  assured  me  from  his  general 
Experience,  and  his  Knowledge  of  your  Constitution, 
that  if  no  violent  Accident  befalls  you,  you  must  have 
gone  through  your  appointed  Time.  Nay,  he  says 
more,  that  he  is  certain  of  it.  He  places  too  great 
Reliance  on  your  Make,  and  on  your  Strength  of  Mind, 
and  says  that  after  having  escaped  so  well  in  your 
earlier  Period  (I  know  not  why,  but  I  am  almost 
airraid  to  mention  the  proper  Word)  there  can  be  no 
Cause  to  apprehend  any  Danger  for  the  Time  which 
was  to  come.  But  the  Event  is  past  Conjecture, 
Hopes  and  Wishes.  I  will  arm  myself  for  the  worst. 
I  will  let  the  best  operate  as  it  may,  though  I 
shall  be  most  unphilosophically  elated  with  it. 


384  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

I  feel  no  Delight  in  your  Absence  equal  to  that  of 
obeying  your  Commands :  But  as  to  my  Departure  in 
the  Month  of  January,  in  which  I  fear  I  shall  not  have 
an  Option,  be  assured,  my  Marian,  that  if  I  am  once 
at  Liberty  to  depart,  no  Season,  or  Fear  of  equinoctial 
Gales,  shall  detain  me.  I  will  trust  to  that  Providence 
which  has  removed  so  many  Mountains  to  clear  my 
Way,  for  my  attaining  the  last  and  blessed  Termina- 
tion of  it. 

No.  Those  who  go  to  Sea,  high  minded,  will  con- 
tinue so  in  Defiance  of  the  Philosophy  of  Winds  and 
Waves.  They  may  clearly  descry  the  Littleness  of 
others;  but  it  is  only  for  such  Minds  as  my  Marian's 
to  draw  Instruction  from  the  Vicissitudes  of  Life,  and 
to  under  rate  the  Excellency  of  her  own  Character 
even  in  Occasions  which  manifest  and  call  forth  its 
great  and  intrinsic  Worth. 

I  am  almost  tempted  to  cry  out,  "  write  no  more, 
since  I  am  the  Sufferer  by  it  in  its  Effects  on  your 
Health." — But  how  grateful  ought  I  to  be  that  you 
have  made  such  Sacrifices  to  your  Desire  of  conversing 
with  your  forlorn  Husband,  and  apprizing  him  of  all 
that  relates  to  the  dearest  Interest  of  his  Life !  I  have 
not  over  looked  your  bolstering  yourself  in  your  Bed 
to  write  to  me  in  the  Midst  of  the  Storm,  but  felt  an 
Obligation  in  every  wry  Letter  that  is  occasioned. 

A  third  Gale !  Indeed  your  Trials  have  been  very 
severe :  But  you  have  stood  them,  and  I  am  not  sorry 
that  you  have  undergone  them,  since  the  Event  has 
proved  so  fortunate.  But  the  Composure  with  which 
you  describe  their  present  Effects  is  a  Contradiction  of 
/the  Reproaches  which  you  cast  on  your  Want  of 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVIII.  385 

Courage.  Few  Men,  confined  to  their  Cabins  under 
such  Circumstances,  would  have  maintained  so  equal  a 
Mind,  or  thought  with  Fondness  on  their  absent  Wives 
or  Mistresses  with  all  the  Elements  threatening  them 
with  instant  Dissolution.  You  may  say  what  you  please 
of  yourself.  I  affirm  that  you  have  a  truer  Principle 
of  Courage  than  any  Woman  that  I  know,  a  Strong 
Sense  of  Danger,  with  a  Spirit  collected,  and  conscious 
of  its  Obligations : — And  (as  Francis  *  says)  I  will 
bring  Witnesses  to  prove  it. 

"  You  conjure  me  not  to  set  my  heart  on  it "  ? 
Indeed,  but  I  do,  and  so  peremptorily  that  it  will  be 
almost  broken  if  I  am  disappointed.  But  I  ought  not 
to  say  so,  considering  what  may  have  happened  when 
you  are  reading  this. 

I  pass  over  your  most  dreadful  Trial.  It  alarms  me 
for  what  may  yet  have  happened,  when  I  see  that  no 
Amendment  secures  you  from  new  Attacks.  I  am 
beyond  Measure  glad  that  you  have  found  such  a 
Resource  in  Opium.  I  should  have  prescribed  it. 

I  stop  at  your  2ist  Sheet  with  a  Pleasure  which  the 
first  Perusal  of  it  failed  to  afford  me.  You  write :  "  I 
hope  no  Consideration  on  Earth  will  make  you  break 
the  solemn  Promise  which  you  made  your  Marian  to 
return  to  Europe  this  Year,  or  the  Beginning  of  the 
next."  Indeed  I  want  no  Spur  to  remind  me  of  it. 
Yet  there  was  an  Exception  expressed  with  it;  and 
this  earnest  Injunction  is  an  Assurance  that  you,  my 
Marian,  will  have  prevented  its  Operation. —  No  Steps 
had  been  taken  on  the  I5th  of  June  to  detain  me. 
You  will  have  arrived  about  the  I5th  of  July.  It  was 

1  Philip  Francis. 
2  B 


386  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

known  in  England  on  the  igth  of  June  that  you  were 
at  St  Helena.  Nothing  finally  decisive  can  have  hap- 
pened in  the  Interval  of  one  Month,  and  you  will  have 
arrived  most  seasonably  to  prevent  any  Measures  from 
passing  which  may  obstruct  my  Departure.  Your  Injunc- 
tions to  Major  Scott,  the  Knowledge  which  they  must 
have  possessed  from  Sir  Elijah  and  Dr  Campbell,  and 
the  great  Chance  of  my  having  left  India  before  their 
Orders  could  arrive  to  suspend  it,  will  surely  have  im- 
pelled them  to  provide  against  it,  and  even  to  allow 
my  Release.  I  have  only  feared  the  Greatness  of  your 
Mind,  and  your  Solicitude  for  my  Reputation,  allowing 
you  to  be  deceived  by  Representations  of  the  absolute 
Necessity  of  my  Stay ;  and  that  in  this  Conviction 
you  may  have  consented  to  it.  If  you  have  opposed 
it  with  the  Vehemence  of  your  Private  Wishes,  they 
cannot  have  written  to  require  my  Stay.  If  they  have, 
and  have  induced  you  to  be  a  Party  to  it,  they  have 
deceived  you :  For  I  can  stay  for  no  Purpose  of 
public  Utility :  I  may  lose  the  Credit  which  I  have 
acquired  and  my  Life  with  it :  I  may  be  of  Service  at 
home :  Here  I  can  do  none :  Nor  can  they  wish  my 
Continuance  but  to  make  me  the  unworthy  Instrument 
of  their  own  political  Jobbs,  to  fill  the  Gap  till  they 
can  make  their  Terms  with  my  Successor.  This  I 
will  not  suffer.  My  Letter  to  the  Court  of  Directors 
will  tell  you  the  rest.  I  wait  now  with  better  Hopes 
that  you,  my  guardian  Angel,  will  have  turned  the 
Scale  in  my  Favor,  and  preserved  me  from  the  Mischeit 
and  Indignity  which  may  have  been  intended  for  me. 
Perhaps  in  the  mysterious  Dispensations  of  the  great 
Influence  which  rules  the  World  you  were  separated 


SERIES    III. — LETTER  XXVIII.  387 

from  me  for  the  Purposes  both  of  effecting  my  Deliver- 
ance, and  of  deciding  my  own  Resolution,  which 
required  a  strong  Attraction  to  overcome  that  which 
I  did  feel  to  my  present  Station,  but  ceased  to  feel  it 
when  your  State  of  Health  required  you  to  leave  a 
Climate  so  unfavourable  to  it. 

O  my  Marian,  what  a  Surprise  of  Pleasure  is  it  to 
me  to  read  my  own  Maxim  in  the  following  Quotation 
of  one  of  yours ! 

"Besides"  (I  must  quote  the  whole,  because  I  am 
proud  of  it) — "  Besides,  you  have  that  Self  Satisfac- 
tion, and  it  has  always  been  your  Characteristic,  that 
you  on  all  Occasions  have  acted  as  a  Man  of  Virtue 
and  Honor  ought  to  do,  whatever  Consequences  may 
ensue. — Surely  that  is  a  Bliss,"  &c.  ...  If  I  add 
the  Context,  my  Eyes  will  overflow, — they  do  almost — 
and  I  shall  not  see  to  write  it  correctly.  —  Now  read 
the  Gheeta : 

"Let  the  Motive  be  in  the  Deed,  and  not  in  the  Event. 
Be  not  one  whose  Motive  for  Action  is  the  Hope  of 
Reward. — Perform  thy  Duty  ;  abandon  all  Thought  of  the 
Consequence,  and  make  the  Event  equal,  whether  it  terminate 
in  Good  or  Evil."  ..."  Wise  Men,  who  have  abandoned 
all  Thought  of  the  Fruit  which  is  produced  from  their 
Actions,  are  freed  from  the  Chains  of  Birth,  and  go  to 
the  Regions  of  eternal  Happiness"  What  a  "  Bliss "  to 
receive  Praise  in  such  a  Shape  from  the  Hand  (and  O 
that  I  could  receive  them  from  her  Lips,  and  thank 
them  with  my  own)  of  her  whose  Applause  would  out- 
weigh the  Execrations  of  all  Mankind ; x  to  receive  such 
a  Sanction  to  my  own  Principles,  and  such  a  Testi- 

1  Compare  Fanny  Burney's  testimony,  quoted  supra,  p.  32. 


388  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

mony  that  I  have  endeavoured  to  act  according  to 
them  !  But  what  Right  have  you  to  detach  the 
hidden  Wisdom  of  Sages  who  have  written  for  the  In- 
struction of  remote  Ages,  and  to  express  it  in  better 
Language  than  they  have  done  ?  But  are  you  not 
again  —  pleased  with  this  Instance  of  the  Sympathy 
that  brings  our  mutual  Thoughts  in  Contact  with  each 
other  ? 

Your  Wishes,  your  spiteful  Wishes,  as  you  call  them, 
against  "all  the  Ships  that  have  not  the  Charge  of 
Letters  from  me,"  will  hurt  none ;  for  I  have  not 
suffered  One  to  go  without  that  Charge.  I  wish  that 
my  first  were  written  in  better  Humor,  for  you  will 
find  some  of  them  in  England  before  you,  possibly. 

I  thank  God,  I  have  brought  you  safely  to  St  Helena, 
where  I  must  leave  you  a  Moment  to  tell  you  that  I 
have  this  Morning  (the  8th),  received  a  Letter  from  the 
Prince  addressed  to  you,  with  a  Present  of  a  Rez^  and 
a  Shawl  Handkerchief.  These  I  will  send  you  by  the 
Surprize.  They  are  according  to  the  Etiquette :  so 
accept  them  as  they  are  intended,  and  don't  examine 
them  by  their  Qualities ;  for  they  are  of  ordinary  Fine- 
ness. I  am  pleased  with  this  Mark  of  his  Delicacy  and 
Attention  ;  for  I  am  sure  it  proceeded  from  himself.  I 
am  not  a  little  pleased  that  you  should  receive  this 
Evidence  of  the  Notoriety  of  the  Governor  General's 
Affection  for  his  Marian.  —  Had  You  been  merely  his 
Wife,  the  Prince  would  no  more  have  thought  of  paying 
this  Compliment  to  you  than  of  writing  to  the  Queen 
of  Sheba.  And  the  Letter  will  please  you.  Scott  is 
translating  it,  and  I  will  enclose  the  Translation  with 
it  in  this  Letter.  If  I  had  not  an  Affection  for  him, 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXVIII.  389 

this  would  have  won  it  from  me. — He  too  has  an  ami- 
able Wife,  and  of  a  noble  and  virtuous  Spirit.  But  I 
am  sorry  to  say,  though  he  speaks  of  her  with  Grati- 
tude and  Applause,  he  has  attached  himself  to  an  ugly, 
old  Cat  of  a  Woman,  that  is  a  Disgrace  to  him.  He 
had  the  Folly  to  let  me  see  her,  and  in  Gratitude  I 
advised  him  to  shew  her  to  no  one  else  (not  for  her 
Ugliness  but  Decorum),  or  to  let  it  be  known  that  he 
had  such  a  secret  Treasure,  and  sung  the  Praises  of  his 
Begum  to  make  him  ashamed  of  the  Contrast. — But  I 
must  return  to  St  Helena. 

I  am  glad  that  you  missed  the  Two  Ships  that  crossed 
your  Passage:  I  am  glad  that  you  missed  the  Cape. — 
You  would  have  sent  Phipps  back  to  me  with  imperfect 
News,  a  bad  Account  of  your  Health,  and  distracted 
me  with  the  Uncertainty  of  your  Condition. — The  people 
of  the  Cape  would  have  been  polite  to  you ;  for  they  were 
so  without  knowing  you,  having  prepared  for  your  Re- 
ception handsomely ;  but  the  Grapes  which  you  longed 
so  much  for  would  have  hurt  you,  and  you  would  not 
have  been  so  easy,  or  so  well  accommodated,  as  at  St 
Helena. — I  eat  a  great  Quantity  of  Grapes  at  Lucnow, 
and  they  always  affected  me  as  if  I  had  drunk  their 
Juices  fermented  to  Wine. — Your  writing  first  from  St 
Helena,  your  late  Arrival  there ;  even  the  Distresses  of 
your  Voyage  by  shewing  what  you  could  bear ;  are  now 
Causes  of  rejoicing.  How  lucky  too,  almost  to  a  Miracle, 
it  was  that  the  two  Storeships  were  ordered  to  go  one 
to  Madrass,  and  the  other  to  Bombay !  I  never  knew 
an  Instance  of  the  former. 

I  must  pass  over  the  Remainder  of  your  Letter  with 
fewer  Remarks  upon  it  than  I  had  promised  myself,  or 


39°  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

than  it  merits ;  for  the  Subject  of  it  is  of  such  Import- 
ance, that  I  almost  regret  the  Levities  which  have  filled 
so  many  Sheets  of  this  Letter,  and  left  so  little  on  all 
that  ought  to  engage  my  Hopes,  Wishes  and  Fears  in 
this  Life.  But  I  have  exceeded  my  Time.  The  Packet 
will  be  closed  to  morrow  Evening,  and  I  have  but 
One  Day  left  for  all  my  other  Letters.  It  is  now  Sun- 
sett,  and  the  Remains  of  this  Evening  I  will  dedicate 
to  you,  and  to  a  little  Headache,  which  I  must  not 
make  a  great  One. 

I  have  read  with  a  particular  Attention,  Interest  and 
Conviction  the  Report  of  your  Condition  at  St  Helena. 
— I  am  satisfied  that  you  were  what  I  wish  you  to 
have  been ;  and  strongly  hope  (but  cannot  suppress  all 
my  Fears)  that  I  am,  could  I  but  know  it,  happy  in  a 
Pledge  of  my  Marian's  dear  Love.  I  may  yet  know  it 
before  the  proper  Time  of  my  Departure,  as  the  Event 
cannot  have  much  exceeded  the  End  of  August.  To 
reason  upon  Probabilities  on  such  a  Subject  may  be 
useful  to  myself,  but  must  be  totally  uninteresting  to 
you,  who  know  what  has  passed,  and  may  in  one 
Event  (which  God  forbid,  far  yet  something  is  left 
even  in  the  happiest  State  for  a  Reverse)  renew  your 
Afflictions. 

I  am  not  happy,  my  Marian,  while  my  Heart  swells 
with  the  Hope  of  supreme  Happiness.  I  hope  too 
much  to  be  easy. 

If  I  stop  at  St  Helena,  I  will  be  Mrs  Greentree's 
Guest,  and  sleep  in  the  Bed  which  my  dearest  Wife 
once  pressed,  though  it  should  be  spread  on  Boards  as 
loose  and  rattling  as  those  which  I  lay  in  many  Years 


SERIES    III. — LETTER   XXVIII.  3QI 

ago  in  the  same  Valley,  and  which  kept  me  waking  a 
whole  Fortnight.  But  my  present  Intention  is  to  touch 
no  where,  and  such,  I  understand,  is  the  Wish  of  Cap- 
tain Johnson ;  but  make  the  Voyage  outright.  I  have 
every  Reason  to  expect  that  it  will  not  exceed  4  Months. 
— But  what,  if  after  all  I  should  not  be  able  to  go? 
You  will  know  it  of  Certainty  by  your  Knowledge  of 
what  has  passed  in  England  to  allow  or  prevent  my 
going,  and  I  will  say  no  more  upon  it. 

I  have  sent  a  curious  Production  of  Wilkins's  to  Mr 
Nathaniel  Smith,  with  a  Request  that  he  will  present 
it  to  the  Court  of  Directors,  and  that  they  will  cause 
it  to  be  printed.  My  Letter  to  him,  which  was  begun 
with  scarce  any  other  Intention  than  to  recommend  the 
Work,  and  to  obviate  some  sensible  Doubts  suggested 
in  Conversation  by  David  Anderson,  grew  into  Length 
as  I  wrote  the  first  Draft  of  it,  and  I  have  since  added 
much  to  it  in  the  Revisal;  So  that  what  was  begun  in 
Play,  for  no  more  was  originally  meant,  is  now  become 
a  serious  Affair,  and  if  it  is  published  may  draw  upon 
me  the  Imputation  of  misemploying  my  Time  by  some, 
of  Presumption  by  others,  and  by  the  Majority  of  writ- 
ing Absurdities.  Nevertheless,  I  recommend  the  Work 
itself  to  your  Perusal,  whether  it  is  published  or  not. 
Scott  will  get  it  for  you. — I  have  yet  an  Hour's  Work 
to  put  all  that  I  have  written  to  you  in  3  long  Letters 
into  their  proper  Packages,  with  their  Enclosures,  which 
are  many.  This  will  only  enclose  the  two  Letters  from 
the  Prince  and  Munny  Begum,  with  a  little  One  from 
Captain  Scott  accompanying  them.  I  could  not  refuse 
him,  and  what  he  writes  is,  I  am  sure,  the  Tribute  of 


3Q2  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

a  good  Heart. — The  Prince's  Letter  pleases  me  much. 
— Adieu,  my  Heart's  Beloved.  May  God  bless  you, 
and  give  us  both  all  we  wish !  Amen. 

WARREN  HASTINGS. 

P.S.  .  I  have  only  a  Line  left  to  write  that  I  have 
been  laboring  incessantly  for  the  last  Ten  Days  for 
the  Packet,  and  am  yet  well. 


393 


CHAPTER    V. 

DECEMBER,  1784,  AND  JANUARY,  1785. 
Mrs  Hastings  in  England. 

IN  view  of  his  wife's  arrival  in  England,  Hastings  had 
sent  the  most  precise  directions  to  Mr  Woodman  and 
to  Scott  as  to  the  preparations  to  be  made  for  her. 
Mr  Woodman  was  "  to  engage  a  good  and  furnished 
house  for  her  reception  in  the  most  healthy  part  of  the 
town.  She  prefers  Portman  Square,"  and  he  tells 
Hastings  that  "  You  may,  my  dear  Brother,  assure 
yourself  that  a  House,  Coach,  Servants  and  everything 
shall  be  ready  for  her  reception,  in  a  proper  Stile  against 
her  arrival."  Scott  writes  on  June  2ist  that  he  has 
heard  from  Mrs  Hastings  from  St  Helena,  and  learns 
that  she  is  expected  in  a  week  at  furthest  at  Ports- 
mouth, whither  he  will  set  off  to  meet  her.  Woodman 
has  "  taken  a  delightful  house  for  her  in  one  of  the 
most  airy  and  healthy  situations  in  London,"  and  every- 
thing is  ready.  The  house  is  in  South  Street,  close  to 
Hyde  Park,  "  with  a  fine  view  of  the  Park  and  the  Surry 
Hills."  The  anxious  Woodman  writes  that  it  is  scarcely 
to  be  equalled  for  situation,  as  well  as  warm  and  con- 
venient ;  it  is  airy,  with  an  uninterrupted  view  to  Ban- 
stead  Downs,  and  is  "  the  second  house  from  Park  Lane 
next  Hyde  Park  wall."  He  has  procured  "  a  new 
Coach,  with  your  Crest  and  Cypher  upon  it.  ... 
Servants  we  have  also  prepared,  who  are  alredy  in  the 


394  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

House,  with  every  other  necessary."  On  August  2nd 
Markham  writes  that  Mrs  Hastings  had  arrived  safely, 
and  that  her  looks,  health  and  spirits  improved  every 
day  on  the  voyage.  Pott  —  apparently  the  fashionable 
physician  of  the  day  —  laughs  at  her  complaints,  and 
promises  she  shall  be  in  perfect  strength  before  the 
winter.  This  promise  of  approaching  recovery  is  cor- 
roborated in  a  letter  from  Mr  Percival  Pott  himself. 
Woodman  gives  a  detailed  account  of  her  landing  on 
July  27th.  He  and  his  wife  were  waiting  to  welcome 
her  at  Portsmouth,  where  she  was  received  with  great 
honour,  the  Commissioner  of  the  Dockyard  having 
ordered  the  King's  yacht  to  fetch  her  from  the  Atlas. 
Unfortunately,  she  and  Mrs  Motte,  escorted  by  Mark- 
ham,  had  left  the  ship  off  Dunnose  Point,  so  that  they 
missed  the  yacht,  "  but  the  Civility  was  the  same." 
"  The  Bells  at  the  Church  were  rang  on  the  occasion, 
and  the  Commissioner's  lady  came  in  the  evening  to 
the  inn  to  pay  her  compliments,  and  insisted  on  lend- 
ing Mrs  Hastings  her  coach  all  the  way  to  London." 
This  lady,  Mrs  Martin,  was  sister  to  a  General  Parker 
who  had  served  in  India,  so  that  she  knew  what  was 
due  to  the  Governor-General's  wife.  The  Atlas  did  not 
arrive  at  her  moorings  at  Blackwall  until  August  5th,1 
when  Mrs  Hastings'  troubles  with  the  Custom-house 
began.  Scott  had  written  earlier  that  he  hoped  he  had 
arranged  for  her  baggage  to  pass  without  being  rifled, 
"  but  there  are  not  such  a  Sett  of  Vermin  in  England 
as  our  Custom  House  Officers."  Among  Hastings'  mis- 
cellaneous papers  in  the  British  Museum  is  a  list  of 
goods  belonging  to  her  which  were  either  prohibited  or 
detained  on  arrival.  Her  muslin  gowns  were  merely 
detained,  but  everything  made  of  silk  was  prohibited, 
as  well  as  a  velvet  riding-habit  worked  with  pearls,  and 
various  dresses,  curtains  and  stuffs  containing  gold  or 
silver  thread.  She  seems,  in  fact,  to  have  been  threat- 

1  '  Lady's  Magazine.' 


SERIES    III.— MRS    HASTINGS    IN    ENGLAND.  395 

ened  with  the  loss  of  all  her  own  clothes— save  those 
she  had  taken  on  shore  with  her  at  Portsmouth  —  and 
all  the  articles  she  had  brought  for  presents.  Not  until 
the  beginning  of  the  next  year  is  Scott  able  to  announce 
that  the  Directors  have  remitted  the  Company's  duties, 
£250,  on  Mrs  Hastings'  things,  and  paid  the  King's 
duties,  amounting  to  £875,  for  her. 

Very  soon  after  landing,  Mrs  Hastings  paid  a  visit  to 
her  husband's  old  friends,  General  and  Mrs  Caillaud,  at 
Aston.1  Returning  to  London,  she  was  presented  at 
Court  by  Lady  Weymouth  on  August  igth,  and,  in 
accordance  with  the  curious  etiquette  of  the  day, 
attended  a  second  Drawing-room  on  September  2nd.2 
Scott,  who  escorted  her  punctiliously,  writes  joyfully  of 
the  extreme  kindness  and  attention  shown  her  by  the 
Queen,  which  he  accepts  as  a  pleasing  augury  for  the 
future.  The  gracious  acceptance  accorded  to  the  gifts 
she  brought  for  the  King  and  Queen  also  attracted  much 
notice.  On  September  22nd,  says  the  '  Lady's  Magazine,' 
"  A  state  bed  of  rich  and  very  curious  workmanship  was 
carried  to  the  queen's  palace,  as  a  present  from  lady 
Hastings,  brought  from  India,  which  far  exceeds  any 
thing  of  the  kind  for  grandeur,  ever  seen  in  this  king- 
dom." On  October  8th  we  read,  "A  few  days  ago  two 
very  fine  young  Arabs,  a  horse  and  a  mare,  were  pre- 
sented to  his  majesty  from  Mr  Hastings.  They  were 
brought  from  Bengal  in  the  Atlas  and  Besborough  East- 
Indiamen."  "The  King,"  writes  Scott,  "  is  delighted 
with  the  Arabs  which  were  presented  to  him  in  your 
Name,  and  asks  every  Body  if  they  have  seen  the 
beautiful  Horse  and  Mare  Mr  Hastings  sent  to  him. 
Her  Majesty  is  equally  pleased  with  the  Ivory  Bed 
and  Chairs  given  to  her  by  Mrs  Hastings,  and  which 
the  Foxites  have  declared  to  be  ornamented  with  Pearls 
and  worth  £50,000,  but  we  are  too  high  now  in  the 
Public  Opinion  to  be  hurt  by  such  execrable  Nonsense." 

1  See  infra,  p.  405.  2  Gleig,  III.  173. 


396  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

This  was  no  doubt  the  "  Ivory  bedstead,"  which  was 
among  the  things  detained  in  the  Customs.  The  Rolliad 
declared  unkindly  that  it  was  ornamented  with  repre- 
sentations of  Hastings'  Indian  exploits  by  the  hand  of 
Baron  Imhoff,  "  the  German  husband  of  your  Warren's 
wife."  The  Arab  sent  for  the  King  is  that  mentioned 
in  Letter  XXVIII.  Woodman  writes  in  August  that 
both  horses  are  well,  and  that  he  has  sent  the  grey  which 
arrived  by  the  Atlas  to  his  fields  at  Ewell,  that  he  may 
recover  the  use  of  his  limbs.  The  little  mare  has  been 
landed  from  the  Busbridge  at  Plymouth,  and  is  on  her 
way  to  town  by  short  journeys. 

Mrs  Hastings'  dress  and  jewels  proved  almost  as 
stimulating  a  theme  as  her  presents  to  royalty  for  the 
eloquence  of  her  husband's  enemies,  though  her  friends 
considered  them  as  merely  suitable.  "  Her  dress  at 
Court  was  extremely  elegant,"  writes  Mrs  Motte,  "and 
I  never  saw  her  in  one  which  became  her  better:  and 
yet  Mr  Burke  himself  could  have  said  nothing  upon  it." 
In  January,  1785,  Scott  writes,  "  Mrs  Hastings  is  well, 
perfectly  so,  and  as  happy  as  she  can  be  in  your  absence. 
She  was  at  Court  on  the  (Queen's)  Birthday,  and  at- 
tracted universal  admiration,  and  of  course  some  Envy. 
The  Chancellor  told  me,  she  was  dressed  as  Mrs  Hastings 
ought  to  be,  and  her  Majesty  paid  her  a  very  handsome 
and  just  compliment  on  her  appearance.  I  was  standing 
next,  when  the  Queen  spoke  to  her,  which  she  did  in  a 
most  gracious  Manner,  and  said  she  was  happy  to  find 
she  had  benefited  so  much  by  her  Trip  to  Bath."  Hast- 
ings' own  view  of  his  wife's  appearance  on  state  occasions 
is  shown  by  an  "  epigram  borrowed  from  the  French  " 
which  is  given  by  Sir  C.  Lawson.  It  should  apparently 
form  part  of  Letter  XXIX.,  but  Gleig  does  not  append  it. 

"  Flowers,  Ribbands,  Lappets,  Feathers  shaking, 
And  Cap  that  cost  three  weeks  in  making, 
Pearls  all  in  rows,  and  Pearls  in  drops 
And  brilliant  Pins  set  thick  as  hops, 


SERIES   III. — MRS   HASTINGS   IN    ENGLAND.  397 

Gay  gown  and  Stomacher  so  fine, 
And  Petticoat  of  clouds  divine, 

With  other  silken  things,  and  lac'd  things  ! 
Combin'd  ye  flutter  forth,  to  shew 
Your  gaudy  charms  to  public  view  : 
Admiring  swains  with  rapture  eye 
The  Pageant,  as  it  moves,  and  die  : 

And  people  call  you  Mrs  Hastings." 

But  this  is  the  light  in  which  "  the  Pageant "  appeared 
to  the  authors  of  the  Rolliad  (Major  Scott  is  supposed  to 
be  addressing  the  King) : — 

"  Monarch  of  mighty  Albion,  check  thy  talk  ! 
Behold  the  Squad  l  approach,  led  on  by  Palk  ! 
Smith,  Barwell,  Call,  Vansittart,  form  the  band — 
Lord  of  Britannia  ! — let  them  kiss  thy  hand  ! — 
For  sniff! — rich  odours  scent  the  sphere  ! — 
'Tis  Mrs  Hastings'  self  brings  up  the  rear  ! 

Gods  !  how  her  diamonds  flock 

On  each  unpowder'd  lock  ! 
On  every  membrane  see  a  topaz  clings  ! 
Behold,  her  joints  are  fewer  than  her  rings  ! 

Illustrious  dame  !  on  either  ear, 

The  Munny  Begums'  2  spoils  appear ! 
Oh  !  Pitt,  with  awe  behold  that  precious  throat, 
Whose  necklace  teems  with  many  a  future  vote  ! 
Pregnant  with  Burgage  gems  each  hand  she  rears  ; 
And  lo  !  depending  questions  gleam  upon  her  ears  ! 
Take  her,  great  George,  and  shake  her  by  the  hand  ; 
'Twill  loose  her  jewels,  and  enrich  thy  land. 
But  oh  !  reserve  one  ring  for  an  old  stager  ; 
The  ring  of  future  marriage  for  her  Major" 

The  absurd  suggestion  contained  in  the  last  line  is 
paralleled  by  the  apprehensions  expressed  by  some  of 
Hastings'  friends  with  regard  to  Lord  Thurlow.  He  was 
introduced  to  Mrs  Hastings  by  Sir  Elijah  Impey,  who 
writes  to  her  husband : — "  I  desired  him  to  visit  Mrs 
Hastings,  and  he  afterwards  dined  with  her  at  my  House; 
I  am  happy  to  give  you  the  best  account  of  her ;  her  re- 

1  The  "Bengal  Squad,"  or  Anglo-Indian  party. 

2  It  is  to  be  noticed  that  in  his  virtuous  indignation,  the  poet  confuses 
Munny  Begum  with  the  Begums  of  Oudh. 


398  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

ception  at  Court,  and  the  manner  she  is  caressed  by  the 
first  people  in  the  Nation  is  such  as  your  most  sanguine 
wishes  for  an  object  so  dear  to  you,  could  not  exceed. 
You  say  you  have  resources  in  business,  but  she  has 
none ;  she  is  in  perfect  health,  and  I  never  saw  her  in 
such  high  spirits ;  is  it  no  resource  to  be  received  and 
respected  as  she  is,  and  to  have  the  consciousness  that  in 
it,  through  her,  you  are  receiving  the  Homage  due  to 
your  character  and  public  services  ?  can  a  heart  like  hers 
possess  a  more  grateful  resource  of  satisfaction  ?  "  Mrs 
Hastings'  high  spirits  are  also  remarked  by  General 
Caillaud : — "Her  charming  spirits  are  yet  certainly 
beyond  her  strength,  and  these  Mrs  Caillaud  in  the  most 
tyrannical  manner,  has  set  about  to  subdue."  Either 
Mrs  Caillaud  was  unsuccessful,  or  the  pleasure  of  finding 
herself  courted  by  the  tremendous  Chancellor  was  par- 
ticularly gratifying  to  Mrs  Hastings,  for  Mrs  Motte  thinks 
it  necessary  to  reassure  the  absent  husband.  "  Her 
health  is  better  than  when  I  had  the  pleasure  of  address- 
ing you  last  month,"  she  writes  in  September ;  "  and  it  is 
not  unlucky  perhaps  that  her  Spirits,  moderate  to  what 
they  were  when  she  was  with  you  in  India,  will  not 
endanger  it  by  exertions  they  might  lead  her  into  were 
they  better.  ...  I  must  tell  you  however  that  when  she 
is  most  inclined  to  be  livelier  than  usual  it  is  when  she 
is  in  Company  with  the  Chancellor,  and  indeed  some  of 
your  Friends  appear  a  little  alarmed  or  Jealous  for  you 
upon  that  Subject; — for  my  own  part  not  being  afraid 
of  you,  I  confess  I  am  never  better  pleased  or  think  she 
appears  to  greater  advantage  than  on  such  occasions." 
The  impression  produced  by  Thurlow  on  his  contem- 
poraries was  extraordinary,  and  even  his  enemy  confessed 
that  no  one  could  ever  be  as  wise  as  Lord  Thurlow 
looked.  Baber  calls  him  "  our  Ghooroo,"  and  Thompson 
says  that  his  countenance  had  the  expression  of  the  lion 
and  eagle,  and  his  smile  recalled  Virgil's  description  of 
Jove.  His  portrait,  by  Reynolds,  affixed  to  Hastings' 


SERIES   III. — MRS    HASTINGS   IN    ENGLAND.  3QQ 

collection  of  the  Debates  of  the  House  of  Lords  on  the 
Trial,  shows  to  advantage  the  enormous  black  eyebrows 
which  gave  so  marked  a  character  to  the  face.  Creevey, 
who  met  him  in  extreme  old  age,  says,  "  The  black  eye- 
brows exceeded  in  size  any  I  have  ever  seen,  and  his 
voice,  tho'  by  no  means  devoid  of  melody,  was  a  kind  of 
rolling,  murmuring  thunder."  He  adds  that  "  however 
rough  Thurlow  might  be  with  men,  he  was  the  politest 
man  in  the  world  with  ladies."  Happily  for  Hastings, 
Scott  is  able  to  assure  him,  "  Though  so  universally 
beloved  and  respected  (Mrs  Hastings),  counts  even  the 
Moments  of  her  Separation  from  you,  and  the  Tear  starts 
in  her  Eye  when  she  drinks  your  Health,  and  couples 
it  with  a  fervent  Prayer  for  your  speedy  Arrival  in 
England." 

The  faithful  Scott  has,  indeed,  nothing  but  what  is 
good  to  write.  "  I  trust  in  God  .  .  .  that  when  you  do 
return  you  may  find  Mrs  Hastings  better  in  Health  than 
you  could  have  hoped,"  he  says;  "for  I  assure  you  I 
never  saw  such  an  Alteration  as  a  Month  has  made  in 
her,  and  when  she  rides  every  fine  Day  and  enjoys  more 
of  the  Country  Air,  I  am  sure  she  will  grow  quite  stout 
for  her  Constitution  is  an  exceeding  good  one.  The 
Respect  and  attention  with  which  Mrs  Hastings  is  re- 
ceived universally  cannot  be  described  in  the  short  Com- 
pass of  an  Over  Land  Letter,  and  it  is  not  confined  to 
any  Rank  in  Life,  but  from  the  Queen,  to  the  humblest 
of  her  Indian  Acquaintance,  nor  can  Malice  itself  find 
anything  to  censure  in  her."  In  October  he  relates  that 
she  had  stayed  with  him  and  his  wife  at  Tunbridge, 
where  another  legal  friend  of  Hastings',  the  venerable 
Lord  Mansfield,  happened  to  be  sojourning.  Lord 
Mansfield  dined  with  the  Scotts  and  their  guest,  and 
they  with  him,  and  not  only  did  he  take  Mrs  Hastings 
on  an  excursion  to  Penshurst,  but  he  escorted  her  every 
day  to  the  Rooms.  The  "  amiableness  of  her  manners  " 
is  particularly  admired,  and  Lady  Bathurst,  who  has 


400  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

been  her  constant  companion  at  Bath,  writes  to  General 
Caillaud  that  she  is  highly  delighted  with  her  ease  and 
elegance.  Another  old  friend  whom  she  visited  was 
George  Vansittart,  who  had  settled  with  his  family  at 
Bisham  Abbey.  "She  hardly  staid  long  enough  I  am 
afraid  to  reconcile  herself  to  our  old  mansion,"  he  writes. 
"  I  said  at  first  I  would  not  live  in  it  if  it  was  given  me, 
and  now  I  find  it  as  comfortable  a  habitation  as  any  in 
the  kingdom.  Mrs  Hastings  was  in  pretty  good  health 
during  her  stay  with  us.  I  believe  she  is  improved  in 
Chess,  for  I  found  her  rather  above  my  Match,  and  in 
Bengal  I  used  to  beat  her." 

In  December  Mrs  Hastings  removed  from  South  Street 
to  "Lord  Vere's  house  in  St  James's  Place,  adjoining  to 
the  Green  Park,"  where,  says  Sir  Francis  Sykes,  "she 
lives  well,  and  with  great  Propriety."  With  her  usual 
strength  of  mind,  she  had  no  intention  of  secluding  her- 
self until  her  husband  should  arrive.  Sykes  is  preparing 
to  wait  upon  her  to  a  little  dance  she  is  giving  to  many 
of  Hastings'  friends,  Scott  escorts  her  to  see  Mrs  Siddons 
as  Lady  Macbeth,  and  there  is  a  comical  letter  from 
Caillaud,  mentioning  that  as  Mrs  Hastings'  butler  is 
taken  ill  just  before  a  large  party,  she  has  borrowed  his, 
who  is  fat  and  puffy,  and  already  half-blown  before  start- 
ing, in  the  hurry  of  powdering  and  dressing  for  the 
occasion.  For  this  one  winter,  at  any  rate,  she  must 
have  realised  her  ambition,  caressed  by  royalty,  flattered 
by  politicians,  courted  by  all  who  had  their  eyes  on 
Indian  patronage — not  much  less  of  a  queen  in  London 
than  she  had  been  at  Calcutta. 


LETTER  XXIX. 

The  disappointment  of  his  cherished  hope,  of  which 
Hastings  learned  in  his  wife's  letter  of  August  3rd,  was 
the  more  bitter  that  the  hope  itself  was  so  recent  and 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXIX.  40! 

previously  so  little  looked  for.  The  two  children  of  his 
first  marriage  had  both  died  young.  The  boy,  George, 
was  sent  home  in  1761  under  the  care  of  Sir  Francis 
(then  Mr)  Sykes,  and  committed  to  the  charge  of  the 
Rev.  George  and  Mrs  Austen,  the  parents  of  Jane  Austen. 
He  died  of  putrid  sore  throat  in  1764,  and  Mrs  Austen 
is  said  (in  Mr  Austen-Leigh's  life  of  Jane  Austen)  to 
have  felt  his  death  as  if  he  had  been  a  child  of  her  own. 
The  news  was  the  first  thing  Hastings  heard  on  landing 
in  England  in  1765,  and  it  left  a  shadow  on  his  face  for 
years.  His  little  daughter  had  died  when  less  than  a 
month  old,  in  1758,  and  his  wife  the  following  year.  His 
love  for  children  is  prominent  throughout  his  Corres- 
pondence. The  children  of  his  friends  were  always 
welcome  guests  at  Daylesford.  "  Mrs  Hastings  desires 
me  to  add,  that  we  shall  be  happy  to  receive  your  little 
nursery.  Indeed  we  should  be  sorry  to  see  you  without 
it,"  he  writes  to  Sir  John  D'Oyly.  Nor  was  it  only  as 
occasional  visitors  that  they  came,  for  the  childless  man 
was  a  father  to  many.  One  of  his  best  beloved  protegees 
was  Marian  Brisco,  of  whom  Mrs  Hastings  and  he  took 
entire  charge  when  she  was  sent  home  from  India. 
"You  are  no  Stranger,"  he  writes  in  1792  to  Colonel 
Brisco,  when  she  was  returning  to  Bengal,  "  to  the  more 
than  common  affection  which  both  Mrs  Hastings  and 
myself  have  ever  felt  for  our  dear  Marian,  who  was  born 
under  our  roof;  connected  with  us  by  the  only  ties  which 
could  give  her  an  affinity  to  us,  her  name,  and  the  pledge 
given  by  us  both  at  her  baptism ;  and  who  has  passed 
so  much  of  her  life  with  us  as  to  have  bred  in  her  mind 
Sentiments  of  respect,  only  second  to  those  which  she 
bears  for  her  natural  parents."  Poor  Marian  would  pro- 
bably have  placed  her  adopted  parents  first,  to  judge 
from  the  heart-broken  letter  she  sends  from  Portsmouth 
to  her  "dear,  dear  Papa,"  her  "best  beloved  Papa,"  on 
her  way  out.  She  is  under  the  care  of  Lady  Shore,  but 
staunchly  refuses  to  take  her  as  a  model,  since  she  is 

2  c 


402  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

resolved  always  to  form  herself  upon  "  my  angel  Mama." 
When  she  writes  to  congratulate  them  upon  Charles 
Imhoffs  marriage,  she  says,  "  Of  the  charming  Mrs 
Imhoff's  welfare  I  can  have  no  doubt,  can  she  be  other- 
wise than  happy  seated  (as  I  was  wont  to  be  in  the 
brightest  days  of  my  life),  betwixt  my  beloved  Parents, 
sharing  their  dear  Smiles  ? "  There  was  at  one  time 
a  chance  that  she  might  become  their  daughter  in  reality, 
for  on  her  arrival  in  1795  Turner  mentions  that  Julius 
Imhoff,  then  "  a  very  prudent,  good-tempered  Lad,  be- 
loved and  esteemed  by  all  who  know  him,"  is  much 
attracted  by  her,  but  she  married  a  civilian  named 
Barton,  "a  young  Man  I  have  every  reason  to  hope 
will  make  me  happy,"  she  says.  Julius  writes : — 
"  Marian  you  will  have  heard  e'er  this  reaches  you  is 
married  to  a  Mr  Barton ;  I  fear  she  will  repent  of  her 
Choice,  he  has  not  only  a  bad  Temper  but  is  very  in- 
ferior to  her  in  understanding  and  much  involved.  I 
hope  in  God  I  may  be  wrong  in  my  Conjecture,  for  she 
was  ever  a  great  favourite  of  mine."  Whatever  may 
have  been  the  cause  of  their  separation,  Julius  retained 
his  kindly  feeling  towards  her.  In  his  will  he  says : — 
"  I  do  bequeath  to  Mrs  Marian  Barton,  formerly  Miss 
Marian  Briscoe,  my  Diamond  Breast  Pin,  as  I  know 
she  will  value  it,  her  Friend  Mrs  Hastings  having  given 
it  to  me.  I  do  also  bequeath  to  her  Mrs  Hastings  Pic- 
ture1 also  my  Brother's  and  a  Diamond  Ring  containing 
my  much  valued  Mother's  Hair,  the  centre  Diamond  is 
lost  and  the  Ring  is  only  valuable  because  it  contains 
hair  once  growing  on  my  dearest  Mother's  head.  God 
shower  down  his  blessings  on  her."  Barton  proved 
wholly  unworthy  of  his  wife,  and  in  1803  she  came  back 
to  her  early  home.  "  I  returned  the  day  before  yester- 

1  This  was  no  doubt  the  "charming  picture"  of  Mrs  Hastings  which 
Chapman  mentions  had  been  sent  out  to  Julius  in  1793.  It  would  be  a 
matter  of  much  interest  if  its  present  whereabouts  could  be  traced.  Doubtless 
Marian  Barton  the  younger  carried  it  into  another  family  on  her  marriage. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXIX.  403 

day,"  says  Hastings,  "  bringing  with  me  our  two  Marians, 
Mrs  Barton  and  her  daughter,  a  most  interesting  child  of 
4  years  old,  and  almost  as  pretty  as  her  mother  was  at 
the  same  age."1  This  younger  Marian,  who  is  men- 
tioned later  as  "  a  lovely  girl,"  became  almost  as  dear  to 
Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  as  her  mother.2  Another  adopted 
child  was  John  D'Oyly,  "your  delightful  Johnny,"  as 
Hastings  calls  him  in  writing  to  Sir  John.  The  respon- 
sibility for  him  was  shared  by  Mr  and  Mrs  Henry  Grant, 
but  they  recognise  Hastings'  interest  as  paramount.  He 
goes  to  see  him  at  school,  finds  him  unhappy  and  badly 
taught,  and  promptly  removes  him  to  another  school. 
Johnny  comes  to  Daylesford  in  his  holidays,  and  is 
examined  as  to  his  progress  and  helped  with  his  holiday 
task,  while  a  full  report  of  his  proceedings  goes  out  to 
his  anxious  father.  When  he  proceeds  to  Haileybury 
to  prepare  for  going  to  India,  he  gets  into  dire  trouble 
for  refusing  to  give  information  against  the  students 
concerned  in  some  disturbances  which  had  occurred, 
and  is  actually  expelled.  Hastings  is  his  friend  and 
counsellor  throughout,  applauding  his  determination  not 
to  betray  his  comrades,  but  advising  him  to  lay  his  case 
before  the  Directors  in  a  respectful  letter,  which  he 
dictates.  Through  Toone's  good  offices,  the  boy  was 
readmitted  to  the  College,  and  joined  his  father  and 
elder  brother  in  Bengal.  "John  is  grown  up  into  a 
very  fine  young  Man,"  writes  Charles,  about  1817, 
"  handsome  enough  for  any  of  our  Sex,  with  manners 
peculiarly  distinguished  for  elegance  and  manliness  at 
the  same  time.  His  reserve  except  among  his  family 
and  intimates  is  not  worn  away,  but  he  manages  to  be 
a  great  favourite  with  all  who  know  him.  He  is  prudent 

1  Mrs  Brisco  writes  from  Daranagur,  near  Hardwar,  in  1781,  that  "your 
god-daughter  Marian"  is  "full  of  Life  and  Vivacity,  her  animated  Beauty 
sparkles  in  her  intelligent  Features ;  nor  is  there  room  to  doubt  she  possesses 
strong  natural  sense  and  keeness  of  comprehension." 

2  It  was  for  Mrs  Barton  (whom  Sir  C.  Lawson  supposes  to  have  been  the 
wife  of  an  aide-de-camp),  that  Hastings'  portrait  by  Lawrence  was  painted. 


404  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

without  being  parsimonious,  and  to  wind  up  all  is  religious 
and  innocent.  Such  is  the  maturity  of  the  Boy  who 
owns  such  obligations  to  you,  and  his  affectionate  heart 
is  as  ready  as  mine  to  express  his  love  and  gratitude 
to  you  for  your  care."1 

Hastings'  only  SISTER  was  Ann,  who  was  about  a  year 
older  than  himself.  She  married  John  Woodman,  who 
had  been  steward  to  the  Duke  of  Bridgewater,  and  who, 
though,  as  he  says,  he  did  not  "pretend  to  any  knowlidge 
in  India  Politicks,"  managed  Hastings'  money  matters 
for  him  in  England  with  great  care  and  attention.  The 
Woodmans  lived  in  Cleveland  Row,  St  James's,  and  had 
a  country  farm  at  Ewell.  Their  children  were  Thomas,2 

and  Elizabeth,  who  married  the  Rev. Myers.     They 

seem  to  have  regarded  their  son  as  his  uncle's  heir,  but 
received  the  news  of  Hastings'  second  marriage  with 
a  very  good  grace.  A  rather  breathless  letter  from 
Mr  Woodman,  written  in  May,  1778,  acknowledges  the 
receipt  of  "  a  letter  to  us  of  the  23rd  November  on 
your  own  health  and  welfare  and  change  of  condition 
to  which  your  sister  and  myself  wish  you  both  all  the 
happiness  this  world  can  afford,  if  there  is  a  certain 
degree  of  allotment  of  it  for  any  man  you  have  many 
years  to  live  to  receive  your  share  as  your  life  hitherto 
has  been  that  of  cares  and  anxietye.  May  the  happy 
state  into  which  you  have  entered  help  to  relieve  your 
mind.  Mrs  Woodman  is  much  obliged  to  her  sister 
for  her  kind  letter,  which  she  intends  answering  the 
first  Opportunity."  The  two  ladies  corresponded  very 
amicably  while  Mrs  Hastings  was  in  India,  and  when 
she  returned,  the  Woodmans  seem  to  have  realised  with- 
out bitterness  that  she  moved  in  a  different  sphere  from 
theirs.  When  Mrs  Woodman  has  a  severe  illness,  Mrs 
Hastings  makes  her  a  warm  pelisse  to  wear  during  con- 
valescence, and  the  Woodmans  try  to  use  Mrs  Hastings' 
friends  in  high  places  to  secure  their  son's  advancement 

1  See  infra,  pp.  461,  462.  2  See  Appendix  III. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXIX.  405 

in  the  Church.  Mrs  Woodman  was  dead  by  the  year 
1812,  after  which  Mr  Woodman  is  found  living  some- 
times at  Ewell  with  his  daughter  and  sometimes  at 
Brackley  with  his  son.  He  was  in  pecuniary  difficulties, 
but  this  appears  to  have  been  due  rather  to  the  decay 
of  his  faculties  than  to  actual  need  of  money.  He  died 
in  1816,  at  the  age  of  ninety-two. 

MRS  CAILLAUD  was  the  sister  of  Hastings'  friend 
Pechell.  Her  husband1  commanded  the  British  troops 
in  Bengal  on  Clive's  departure  from  India  in  1760,  when 
the  Shahzada  (afterwards  the  Emperor  Shah  Alam), 
invaded  Behar,  and  Mir  Jafir  called  upon  the  English 
for  help.  He  conducted  the  campaign  with  considerable 
success,  though  hampered  at  every  turn  by  his  native 
allies,  but  in  1761  was  appointed  Commander-in-Chief 
in  South  India,  and  made  over  the  Bengal  command 
to  Carnac.2  He  refused  the  bribe  offered  by  Kasim  Ali 
Khan  to  the  Calcutta  Council,  of  which  he  was  a  mem- 
ber, to  induce  them  to  raise  him  to  the  masnad  in  Mir 
Jafir's  place,  but  he  did  not  decline  to  make  use  of  the 
money  when  it  was  paid  to  his  agents  at  home.  Fanny 
Burney  mentions  him  in  her  account  of  Hastings'  Trial 3 
as  the  hero  of  one  of  Burke's  stories  of  alleged  cruelty. 
Windham  told  her  that  she  would  be  tempted  to  like 
him,  in  spite  of  the  account  she  had  heard  of  him,  for 
he  was  as  mild,  as  meek,  as  gentle  in  his  manners,  as 
Mr  Hastings.  In  India,  Hastings  and  he  had  differed  on 
public  matters,  but  their  letters  are  frequent  and  friendly. 
General  Caillaud  writes  to  promise  Mrs  Hastings  ease, 
quiet,  comfort  and  brown  bread,  at  his  house  at  Aston, 
and  says  that  Mrs  Caillaud  will  be  ready  and  happy  to 
assist  her  when  her  representation  (presentation  at  Court), 
is  over.  When  she  comes  to  stay  with  them,  he  sends 
an  enthusiastic  letter.  "  Mrs  Hastings  is  under  our  roof, 
and  at  this  moment  writing  to  you,"  he  says.  "  As  the 

1  Malleson  persistently  spells  his  name  Calliaud. 

2  See  supra,  p.  345.  8  She  spells  his  name  Caillot. 


406  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

well  deserving  object  of  your  tenderest  affections  you 
could  not  doubt  how  much  our  hearts  were  disposed 
towards  her.  That  alone  was  sufficient  to  entitle  her 
to  all  our  attentions  and  to  insure  her  a  large  share  in 
our  regard  and  friendship.  But  all  this,  and  much  more 
than  I  can  express,  she  commands  from  us,  on  her  own 
account.  Nature  never  more  sweetly  united  in  one 
person  all  the  aimiable  and  engaging  qualities  of  the 
heart,  with  the  essential  ones  of  the  head,  than  in  the 
composition  of  that  excellent  woman.  But  the  more 
we  are  charmed  and  delighted  with  her  society,  the  more 
we  feel  for  what  you  have  lost."  The  struggle  to  subdue 
Mrs  Hastings'  immoderate  spirits,  on  which,  as  already 
mentioned,  Mrs  Caillaud  had  entered,  was,  says  the 
General,  "  a  perfect  comedy,  and  ends  as  you  may 
imagine  by  their  being  better  friends  than  before.  Be 
assured,  however,  the  confidence  and  powers  with  which 
you  have  invested  my  good  woman  in  a  manner  so 
flattering  to  her  merits  will  not  be  abused,  and  I  own 
the  distinction  speaks  to  my  heart,  and  flatters  my 
pride."  The  friendship  thus  begun  continued  until  1808, 
when  Mrs  Caillaud  died,  leaving  her  aged  husband  deso- 
late. He  died  in  1810. 

MR  PITT'S  INDIA  BILL  received  the  royal  assent 
on  August  I3th,  1784.  Its  effect  was  to  take  away 
from  the  Company  all  right  of  action  in  regard  to  civil, 
military,  and  financial  affairs,  transferring  it  to  a  board 
of  six  members,  nominated  by  the  Crown,  and  known 
thereafter  as  the  Board  of  Control.  The  commercial 
interests  alone  of  the  Company  were  left  in  its  own 
power.  The  Court  of  Proprietors  was  restrained  from 
altering  any  order  of  the  Board,  and  even  the  Directors 
were  relegated  to  a  position  of  helpless  ignorance  when 
political  matters  were  in  question,  being  allowed  merely 
to  nominate  a  secret  committee  of  three,  which  was 
to  serve  as  the  mouthpiece  of  the  Board.  The  Directors 
were  permitted  to  choose  their  own  servants,  civil  and 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXIX.  407 

military,  but  either  the  Crown  or  the  Board  might  re- 
move or  recall  any  of  them  at  pleasure.  The  Governor- 
General  was  still  allowed  his  casting  vote  in  Council, 
and  his  authority  over  the  other  Presidencies  was 
affirmed,  but  he  and  his  Council  were  definitely  and 
severely  restricted  from  making  war,  entering  into 
treaties,  or  giving  guarantees  to  native  princes,  unless 
hostilities  had  actually  broken  out,  or  were  on  the 
verge  of  doing  so.  The  foregoing  provisions  appeared 
sufficiently  objectionable  to  Hastings  and  the  other  old 
servants  of  the  Company,  but  even  worse  were  the 
clauses  dearest  to  the  authors  of  the  Bill,  which  pro- 
vided a  new  Court  for  the  trial  in  England  of  offences 
committed  in  India,  and  obliged  returning  Anglo-Indians 
to  declare  on  oath  the  amount  of  their  fortunes.  The 
Court  was  never  brought  into  use,  and  the  inquisitorial 
regulations  intended  to  prevent  corruption  were  for- 
mally repealed  in  less  than  two  years,1  but  they  were 
a  sufficient  indication  of  the  spirit  in  which  Parliament 
regarded  the  Company  and  its  servants. 

(Gleig,  III.  pp.  215-217.) 

CALCUTTA,  26th  'December,  1784. 

MY  BELOVED  MARIAN,  —  I  have  received  your  letter 
of  the  3rd  of  August,  informing  me  of  your  safe  arrival 
in  England.  I  received  it  on  my  return  from  the  play. 
I  could  not  go  to  bed,  but  sat  reading  it  till  past  two, 
and  afterwards  lay  long  after  counting  three  without 
being  able  to  close  my  eyes.  Whether  I  was  happy, 
or  unhappy  in  reading  it,  I  cannot  tell  you.  I  fear, 
my  disappointment  on  the  one  subject  equalled  my 
joy  for  your  safety,  the  close  of  your  perils,  and  the 
promise  that  you  would  soon  be  as  well  as  you  ever 

1  Beveridge,  'Comprehensive  History.' 


408  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

had  been  at  any  period  of  your  life.  I  have  since 
thought  only  on  the  good ;  and  I  thank  God  for  it. 
The  attentions  shown  to  you  on  your  arrival,  though 
what  I  expected,  make  no  small  part  of  my  rejoicing. 
Something  might  at  the  first  have  been  yielded  to  you 
on  my  account ;  more,  surely,  to  your  character  which 
had  preceded  you,  and  your  character  is  marked  with 
virtues,  all  original,  and  such  as  would  naturally  excite 
curiosity  and  respect ;  but  I  am  certain  that  they  who 
were  your  first  visitors  would  have  wished  to  repeat 
their  visits  early  and  stimulate  others  with  the  same 
desire  to  see  you. 

I  read  much  in  your  letter  to  admire,  to  be  delighted 
with;  but  nothing  that  I  can  reply  to.  I  am  pleased 
that  my  sister  received  you  at  Portsmouth,  and  that 
you  like  her.  I  am  pleased,  too,  that  you  are  pleased 
with  Mrs  Caillaud. 

You  say,  "  you  fear  they  will  keep  me  another  year 
from  you."  No,  my  Marian ;  they  shall  not ;  nor  do 
I  apprehend  it  to  be  the  wish  of  those  who  have  it  in 
their  power  to  detain  me.  Upon  this  subject  I  have 
written  fully  to  Scott,  who  will  show  you  what  I  have 
written.  The  sum  of  it  is,  that  as  I  have  received  the 
most  incontestable  proofs  of  the  minister's  indisposition 
to  me,  if  I  receive  no  other  advices,  or  no  letter  from 
England  by  the  3ist  of  January,  I  will  wait  no  longer, 
but  instantly  embark.  Still  one  chance  may  detain  me, 
which  will  be  the  refusal  of  my  present  colleagues  to 
give  me  the  assurance,  which  I  promised  the  Nabob 
Vizier  that  I  would  demand,  of  their  punctual  adher- 
ence to  my  engagements  with  him.  I  have  no  doubt 
that  they  will  promise  it  in  the  manner  that  I  shall 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXIX.  409 

prescribe;  and  it  will  not  be  safe  for  them  to  break  it* 
As  to  the  Fox,  I  do  not  expect  to  see  her  here,  though 
I  should  wait  for  her  till  the  end  of  February. 

I  have  written  so  much  by  the  Surprise,  that  I  have 
nothing  left  but  repetition.  She  sailed  from  Culpee 
the  I4th,  and  carried  four  letters  from  me.  One, 
No.  26,  a  duplicate;  the  original  gone  to  Bussora. 
No.  27,  contained  a  copy  of  my  letter  to  the  Court 
of  Directors,  dated  22nd  of  November ;  a  translation 
of  your  firmaun,  and  a  list  of  shawls  given  in  charge 
to  Captain  Price.  No.  28  contained  a  letter  from 
Munny  Begum,  a  letter  written  to  you  by  the  Prince, 
and  translations  of  both.  Both  letters,  indeed  all  three, 
are  intolerably  long.  The  captain  had  also  charge  of 
two  shawls  in  one  package,  and  your  firmaun.  The 
first  was  a  present  from  the  Prince ;  but  of  no  other 
value. 

I  shall  enclose  in  this  nothing  but  a  correct  copy  of 
the  Prince's  narrative.  If  it  is  good  for  nothing  else, 
it  is  at  least  a  beautiful  specimen  of  good  penmanship. 

But  what  have  I  to  do  with  letters  or  enclosures  ?  If 
I  am  in  luck,  I  shall  be  with  you  as  soon  as  this ; 
for  since  I  wrote  the  preceding,  I  have  received  and 
studied  Mr  Pitt's  bill,  and  receive  it  as  so  unequivocal 
a  demonstration  that  my  resignation  of  the  service 
is  expected  and  desired,  that  I  shall  lose  no  time  in 
preparing  for  the  voyage.  It  is  now  determined,  not 
absolutely,  because  I  must  first  exact  from  Mr  Mac- 
pherson  his  engagement  to  abide  by  my  settlement 
with  the  Nabob  Vizier,  and  I  have  no  doubt  of  his 
acquiescence.  This  point  settled,  it  is  determined 
absolutely,  absolutely.  I  will  wait  for  no  advices. 


410  LETTERS   OF  WARREN   HASTINGS. 

They  have  given  me  my  freedom,  and  opened  the  road 
to  my  happiness.  Yet,  my  Marian,  forgive  me.  I  do  not 
feel  the  joy  which  I  ought.  I  am  too  much  attached 
to  my  public  character  and  its  relations,  and  dread 
the  ruin  which  I  see  impending  over  them.  But  I 
have  acquitted  myself  of  all  my  obligations,  and  am 
not  accountable  for  the  crimes  or  errors  of  others.  I 
have  given  Sands  and  Francis  their  charge  for  pre- 
paring everything  for  the  embarkation,  and  am  going 
as  soon  as  this  is  closed  to  whisper  Mr  Barton l  to 
hasten  the  lading  of  the  Barrington.  May  Heaven 
prosper  my  design,  bless  my  Marian,  and  speedily 
reunite  us  with  every  necessary  means  of  happiness  in 
our  possession !  If  I  have  enough  for  a  decent  sub- 
sistence, I  want  no  pensions,  and  despise  titles.  At 
this  instant  I  have  but  one  wish,  and  a  little  one 
annexed  to  it ;  and,  O  God  grant  them !  Amen. 


LETTER   XXX. 

Hastings'  silence  to  SCOTT  on  the  subject  of  Pitt's 
India  Bill  did  not  arise  from  his  having  nothing  to  say. 
There  is  among  his  Correspondence  the  draft  of  a  letter 
written  on  December  27th,  with  an  endorsement  to  the 
effect  that  he  has  withheld  it  because  it  is  too  un- 
reserved : — 

"  MY  DEAR  SCOTT,  ...  I  have  seen  Mr  Pitt's  Bill  .  .  . 
Its  Substance  is  Mortality,  nor  can  any  Amendment 
extract  the  Poison  which  pervades  all  its  Parts,  and 
constitutes  its  essence. — How  could  you,  my  Friend, 
give  your  support  to  it  ?  But  I  will  not  find  fault  with 
you ;  I  ought  not.  I  would  give  a  Sum  of  Money  to 

1  The  supercargo. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER   XXX.  4!! 

recall  my  Letter  to  Mr  Pitt.1  My  Conscience  reproaches 
me  with  it  as  a  Tribute  of  Adulation,  and  yet  God  is  my 
Judge  that  I  wrote  it  under  an  impression  equal  to  the 
Faith  of  Religion,  that  I  was  writing  to  a  man  of  strict 
Honor  and  Virtue.  I  now  believe  him  to  be  wanting  in 
both.  But  how  you  have  been  deceived  by  him  !  Had 
I,  Scott,  no  other  Cause  to  go,  I  would  not  for  any 
Honors  that  the  King  could  bestow  stay  to  be  the  Instru- 
ment of  the  Vengeance  which  hangs  over  the  service  here, 
and  has  annihilated  my  constituents.  The  Company,  I 
mean,  the  Body  of  the  Proprietors,  are  my  Patrons,  my 
Defenders,  and  to  them  my  Services  have  been  devoted. 
With  their  Interests  I  have  joined  the  national  Honor  in 
the  Motives  which  swayed  my  Conduct.  I  can  no  longer 
serve  the  former,  for  they  can  no  longer  receive  my 
Services.  Their  Existence  is  past ;  And  I  can  no  longer 
act  without  Injury  to  the  latter.  Neither  could  I  remain 
without  a  sacrifice  of  every  Rupee  that  I  am  worth ;  for 
I  could  not  take  the  Oath  required  of  me  without  Per- 
jury, and  I  would  not  take  a  false  Oath  to  save  myself 
from  a  Jail.  But  enough  of  this,  I  shall  write  no  more. 
Yours  affectionately." 

He  seems  to  have  realised,  when  he  had  written  this, 
that  Scott  would  fail  to  understand  the  indignation 
roused  in  him  by  the  treatment  meted  out  to  the  Pro- 
prietors, and  in  the  letter  actually  sent  he  dwells  only  on 
the  speech  in  which  Pitt,  in  introducing  his  Bill,  de- 
clared that  it  was  intended  to  prevent  the  "continuation" 
of  a  state  of  things  then  existing,  which  was  described 
in  the  very  words  of  the  attack  made  on  Hastings  by 
his  enemies.  "Why,  Scott!"  he  cries;2  "what  devil 
has  Mr  Pitt  dressed  for  his  exemplar,  and  clothed  with 
such  damnable  attributes  of  ambition,  spirit  of  conquest, 

1  This  was  written  in  Hastings'  first  joy  at  finding,  as  he  believed,  that  he 
was  to  be  supported  and  appreciated  at  last  by  the  new  Minister.     It  has 
entirely  disappeared.     See  Gleig,  III.  222,  228. 

2  Gleig,  III.  226. 


412  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

thirst  of  blood,  propensity  to  expense  and  troubles,  ex- 
travagance and  improvidence  in  creating  overcharged 
establishments,  disobedience  of  orders,  rapacity,  plunder, 
extortion  ! ! !  "  Scott  was  not  quite  so  much  to  blame 
as  his  patron  thought,  for  he  had  received  so  many 
assurances  of  favour  towards  Hastings  from  Pitt  and 
Thurlow,  so  many  declarations  that  the  offensive  portions 
of  the  Bill  did  not  relate  to  him,  that  he  may  be  par- 
doned for  regarding  himself  as  a  diplomatist  whose  ar- 
duous labours  had  been  crowned  with  success.  His  letters 
give  us  a  vivid  picture  of  the  man,  darting  about  between 
Leadenhall  Street  and  the  House  of  Commons,  button- 
holing Directors,  waylaying  Members,  calling  upon  peers, 
waiting  upon  Ministers,  exchanging  business  compli- 
ments and  repartees  even  at  court.  As  Windham  showed 
him  to  Fanny  Burney  at  the  Trial — "'There  he  is,  in 
green ;  just  now  by  the  Speaker,  now  moved  by  the 
committee ;  in  two  minutes  more  he  will  be  somewhere 
else,  skipping  backwards  and  forwards ;  what  a  grass- 
hopper it  is!'"  so  we  see  him,  volatile,  enthusiastic, 
over-zealous,  totally  devoid  of  the  sense  of  humour.  It 
suited  him  exactly  to  find  himself  a  plenipotentiary,  and 
he  lived  the  strenuous  life  with  great  satisfaction  to 
himself,  and  at  vast  expense  to  Hastings.  His  inter- 
minable letters  are  always  sent  in  quadruplicate,  generally 
in  quintuplicate,  once — if  the  term  may  be  coined — in 
decuplicate,  and  he  is  eloquent  on  the  difficulty  of  getting 
them  copied.  Clerks  cannot  be  trusted  with  documents 
of  so  much  political  importance,  and  he  is  not  satisfied 
until  he  has  found  a  charity  boy,  who  writes  an  excellent 
hand,  but  is  too  stupid  to  take  any  notice  of  what  he  is 
copying.  In  turning  over  the  many  pages  of  these  letters, 
first  in  Scott's  own  villainous  hand,  then  in  the  fine 
penmanship,  bold  or  minute,  of  his  various  copyists,  it 
is  impossible  not  to  imagine  the  relief  with  which 
Hastings  must  have  thrown  aside  many  a  bulky  packet 
as  "  only  a  quintuplicate  of  Scott's  last !  " 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXX.  413 

CALCUTTA.     2tyk  December,  1784. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — As  I  have  made  it  a  Rule  to 
write  to  you  by  every  Opportunity,  from  a  Conviction 
of  what  you  will  feel  from  the  Disappointment  if  I 
suffer  a  Packet  to  go  without  a  Letter  for  you,  I 
therefore  write  this  to  go  by  the  Southampton,  a  slow 
Ship,  and  not  likely  to  carry  any  but  stale  News;  and 
all  that  I  can  say  I  have  said  already.  I  fondly  hope 
that  I  shall  myself  be  with  you  nearly  as  soon  as  this, 
having  resolved  to  quicken  the  Dispatch  of  the  Berring- 
ton,  and  if  possible,  to  embark  upon  her  by  the  End  of 
next  Month.  Mr  Pitt's  Bill,  and  the  injurious  Reflexions 
which  he  has  cast  upon  me,  are  the  Grounds  of  this 
Resolution ;  not  as  they  excite  my  Resentment,  for  I 
have  not  suffered  a  Thought  of  myself  to  influence  me ; 
but  as  they  are  certain  Indications  of  his  Acquiescence 
in  my  Return  according  to  the  Terms  which  I  have 
constantly  stated  as  those  which  should  determine  it. 
One  Obstacle  yet  remains,  and  that  I  shall  immediately 
put  to  the  Trial.  You  know  the  Promise  which  I  have 
made  to  the  Nabob  Vizier.  That  I  must  fulfill,  and  you 
will  probably  know  the  Result  before  you  receive  this. 

I  have  said  nothing  to  Scott  about  Mr  Pitt's  Bill, 
because  I  should  hurt  his  Feelings,  and  I  know  that 
he  was  not  aware  of  its  Malignity.  Yet  I  must  say  to 
you,  but  to  you  only,  that  his  Support  of  it  astonishes 
me,  for  an  Act  more  injurious  to  his  fellow  Servants,  to 
my  Character  and  Authority,  to  the  Company,  to  the  Pro- 
prietors especially  who  alone  have  a  Right  to  my  Services 
on  the  Principle  of  Gratitude,  and  to  the  national  Honor, 
could  not  have  been  devised,  though  Fifty  Burkes,  Foxes 
and  Francises  had  clubbed  to  invent  One. 


414  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

I  am  well;  but  keep  myself  so  by  Attentions  which 
would  be  Misery  to  another :  But  what  care  I  for 
Society?  My  Days  pass  in  incessant  Writing,  reading, 
hearing  and  talking,  and  ever  close  with  Weariness  and 
little  Head  Aches,  which  sometimes  grow  to  great  Ones. 
If  I  am  doomed  to  remain  another  Year,  and  survive 
it,  I  must  carry  Witnesses  of  my  Identity,  or  return 
like  Ulysses  an  old  Man  and  a  Beggar  to  my  Penelope, 
and  with  only  One  Scar,  which  cannot  be  seen,  to 
convince  you  that  I  am  your  Husband.  Don't  practise 
Mrs  Blair's  Advice  to  Mrs  Cooke  upon  me. 

Adieu  my  most  beloved.  W.  H. 


LETTER   XXXI. 

This  letter  must  have  been  sent  by  the  Fox  packet, 
which  was  despatched  on  January  loth,  1785.  Hastings' 
reason  for  keeping  the  day  sacred  was  its  being  the 
anniversary  of  that  on  which  Mrs  Hastings  had  sailed. 
His  last  two  months  in  India  were  filled  with  business 
and  social  engagements.  The  King's  Birthday  was  kept 
on  December  7th,  and  the  usual  festivities  took  place 
then  and  at  Christmas,  while  on  New  Year's  Day  the 
Governor-General  appeared  as  host  for  the  last  time  at 
the  Old  Court  House,  giving  the  regulation  dinner  to 
the  gentlemen  and  ball  to  the  ladies  of  the  settlement. 
An  important  meeting  of  Council  was  held  on  January 
4th,  at  which  he  laid  before  McPherson  and  Stables  a 
minute  recapitulating  the  arrangements  he  had  made 
with  the  Nawab-Vizier,  reminding  them  that  the  work 
was  undertaken  with  their  authority,  and  requesting  in 
a  "  very  earnest  manner "  that  they  would  record  their 
intention  of  abiding  by  them.  They  gave  him  the  per- 
sonal assurance  to  which  he  refers  in  this  letter  almost 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXXI.  415 

immediately,  and  recorded  their  formal  acquiescence  in  a 
minute  handed  in  on  January  13th.1 

(Gleig,  III.  pp.  217,  218.) 

CALCUTTA,  loth  January,  1785. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — I  believe  I  said  in  my  last 
that  I  should  sail  early  in  this  month.  I  did  write  so 
to  Major  Scott ;  but  it  was  from  a  recent  impression, 
which  a  slight  consideration  effaced,  and  left  in  its 
place  the  resolution  which  I  had  before  formed  of 
waiting  till  the  3ist ;  and  on  the  3ist  I  intend  to 
take  my  leave,  if  no  great  event  intervenes,  and  I  can 
form  no  conjecture  of  any  that  can  detain  me  longer. 
It  is,  indeed,  very  much  my  desire  to  be  gone  before 
any  advices  can  arrive  from  England  for  a  reason 
which  I  cannot  trust  to  writing,  but  which  you,  my 
Marian,  will  applaud,  and  the  public  ought  to  applaud 
if  they  knew  it. 

I  have  declared  my  intention  to  Mr  Macpherson  and 
to  Mr  Stables.  Both  have  assured  me  that  ,they  will 
not  break  my  engagements  with  the  Nabob  of  Oude ; 
and  Mr  Macpherson  has  promised  me  in  the  most 
pointed  manner  that  he  will  in  everything  make  my 
example  the  rule  of  his  conduct. 

We  shall  touch  no  where  in  the  voyage,  and  Captain 
Johnson  hopes  to  complete  it  in  four  months.  It  is 
therefore  probable  that  I  shall  be  with  you  before 
you  receive  this  letter.  Why,  therefore,  should  I 
lengthen  it  ? 

I  have  not  been  well  since  my  return  to  Calcutta;, 
but  I  do  not  charge  my  complaints  entirely  to  my 

1  State  Papers. 


4l6  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

constitution,  nor  entirely  to  the  climate,  nor  to  both ; 
for  my  mind  has  been  kept  in  continual  fatigue,  and 
will  have  little  repose  till  I  am  out  of  pilot's  water. 

May  God  preserve  you  in  health,  and  promote  and 
prosper  our  meeting! 

Till  then,  adieu,  my  beloved!  Look  at  the  date  of 
this.  How  different  are  my  present  prospects  from 
those  which  I  had  at  this  time  the  last  year. 

This  day  I  shall  keep  sacred.  I  shall  give  much  of 
it  to  business,  but  no  part  of  it  to  society.  Remember 
me  affectionately  to  Mrs  Motte. 

LETTER  XXXII. 

By  this  time  the  Europeans  in  Calcutta  had  awakened 
- — rather  late  in  the  day,  it  would  appear — to  the  reali- 
sation that  their  Governor  -  General  was  leaving  them. 
A  meeting  at  the  Harmonic  Tavern 1  is  announced  in 
the  'India  Gazette'  for  January  3ist,  "to  consider  of 
an  address  of  thanks."  Old  friends  send  him  parting 
presents,  proteges  for  whom  he  had  been  unable  to  pro- 
vide write  to  him  in  terror.  A  Lieutenant  Thomas,  who 
has  forwarded  a  letter  from  his  aged  parents  to  support 
his  request  for  help,  makes  a  last  entreaty  for  his  patron- 
age, "  for  the  relief  of  a  distressed  Father  and  Mother, 
bending  under  their  Grey  Locks,  with  a  family  of  un- 
provided children."  The  subordinates  he  is  leaving  send 
him  mournful  farewells,  containing  dark  forebodings  as  to 
the  future. 

One  act  of  justice  he  was  determined  himself  to  per- 

1  The  Harmonic  Society  was  an  association  of  gentlemen  who  engaged  to 
.give,  each  in  turn,  a  concert,  ball,  and  supper  "to  the  ladies."  As  early  as 
April,  1781,  the  '  Bengal  Gazette  '  tells  us  that  the  Harmonic  had  become  a 
jbore>  and  select  parties  were  taking  its  place.  The  Harmonic  House  was 
used  for  subscription  assemblies  the  next  winter,  but  was  finally  disposed 
.of  by  lottery,  and  turned  into  a  tavern. 


SERIES   III. — LETTER  XXXII.  417 

form  before  he  departed.  Colonel  Pearse  had  returned 
from  the  Carnatic  with  his  way-worn  and  war-worn  troops, 
the  5000  men  who  had  left  Midnapore  at  the  end  of 
1780  reduced  to  less  than  2000.  His  lengthy  letters  had 
kept  Hastings  acquainted  with  all  his  misfortunes  in  the 
interval,  but  he  writes  from  Midnapore  on  January  ist 
with  something  like  contentment:  "My  dearly  beloved 
veterans  have  all  their  friends  and  connections  here  and 
hereabout,  and  needed  a  day  or  two  to  see  them ;  and 
we  of  the  other  country  too  have  our  friends  also,  and  the 
same  Company  met  in  the  same  place  to  end  1780  and 
1784 — which  after  such  a  time  and  such  a  scene  as  we 
have  gone  through  was  wonderful."  Hastings  reviewed 
the  remnants  of  the  force  near  Gheretty,  where  their  sun- 
burnt faces  and  soiled  uniforms  impressed  the  beholders 
by  their  contrast  with  the  spick-and-span  appearance  of 
the  untravelled  regiments  in  camp.  Then  came  the  dis- 
tribution of  rewards — standards  of  honour  for  the  regi- 
ments, gold  and  silver  medals  for  the  native  omcers  and 
non  -  commissioned  omcers  respectively,  badges  for  the 
privates,  and  additional  pay  for  all  ranks — no  one  was 
forgotten,  and  the  lesson  was  further  enforced  by  Hastings 
in  his  address.  Many  years  afterwards,  an  old  officer, 
writing  in  the  '  East  India  United  Service  Magazine/ 
ascribes  to  the  words  and  the  scene  the  influence  that 
has  made  him  what  he  is. 

(Gleig,  III.  pp.  218,  219.) 

CALCUTTA,  31^  January,  1785. 

MY  DEAREST  MARIAN, — To  -  morrow  morning  I  take 
my  leave  of  Calcutta.  The  captain  is  gone,  and  will 
be  ready  to  weigh  as  soon  as  he  sees  my  flag.  The 
Hussar,  a  Danish  ship,  is  also  on  the  point  of  sailing, 
with  Mr  and  Mrs  Halhed1  passengers.  As  she  has  the 

1  Halhed  was  returning  to  England  to  take  up  his  work  as  the  Nawab- 
Vizier's  agent  in  London. 

2  D 


418  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

reputation  of  greater  speed  even  than  the  Barrington, 
and  Captain  Johnstone  himself  (our  captain)  thinks  that 
she  may  get  home  before  us,  I  therefore  write  this  in 
prevention  of  such  an  event,  lest  you  should  be  alarmed 
by  it,  to  inform  you  of  the  probability  that  it  may 
happen,  that  I  am  on  the  way,  and  that  I  am  well, 
in  defiance  of  all  my  cares,  anxieties,  and  troubles. 
More  I  need  not  say,  as  I  cannot  easily  support  the 
thought  of  its  being  of  use  to  say  even  so  much  as  I 
have  said. 

May   God   prosper   me   in    my   voyage,    and   preserve 
you,  my  sweet  Marian,  in  health  and  safety. 

The  Departure  of  Hastings. 

On  February  ist  Hastings  attended  Council  for  the 
last  time,  and  handed  over  to  McPherson  the  keys  of 
the  Treasury  and  of  Fort  William,  which  he  had  refused, 
nine  years  before,  to  yield  to  Clavering.  He  received 
the  address  prepared  by  the  meeting  on  the  previous 
day,  and  went  on  board  his  budgerow.  It  was  his  wish 
to  slip  away  quietly,  but  his  friends  would  not  allow  it. 
"  I  had  the  honour  of  dining  with  him,"  writes  Wilkins 
to  his  uncle,  "  at  the  Powder  Mills,  about  eight  miles 
below  the  City,  with  about  fifty  more  of  his  select  friends. 
At  about  four  he  left  us,  with  benevolent  Heart  to(o)  big 
for  Utterance,  and  scarce  a  dry  eye  upon  the  Strand. 
Never  in  my  life  had  I  been  a  Witness  of  such  Distress  as 
was  shewn  on  this  Occasion.  The  Company  ran  back  to 
the  house  in  the  greatest  confusion,  where  every  Chair 
and  Bed  exhibited  an  Object  of  Grief.  For  my  own 
particular  Part,  I  was  so  overcome,  that  I  was  glad  to 
retire  into  a  dark  corner  of  a  Closet,  where  I  was  relieved 
by  a  plenteous  Flood  of  Tears,  and  as  soon  as  my  Grief 
was  a  little  subsided,  I  stole  away  from  the  melancholly 


SERIES   III. — THE   DEPARTURE   OF   HASTINGS.         419 

Scene,  into  my  Carriage,  and  drove  to  Town  with  a 
Companion  in  Affliction ;  and  so  absorb'd  were  we  in 
the  recent  Loss  we  had  sustain'd,  that  we  did  not  ex- 
change a  Word  till  we  got  to  the  end  of  our  Journey. 
My  Mind  is  still  so  big  with  the  Subject,  that  I  can 
scarcely  think  of  any  other. — There  never  was  a  Man 
in  private  Life  so  universally  beloved ;  or  who  in  a  great 
public  Character  gave  such  general  Content." 

Thompson  and  Turner  went  down  as  far  as  Saugor, 
where  the  Berrington  was  lying,  and  David  Anderson, 
Toone,  Sands,  Jonathan  Scott,  Dr  Francis  and  John 
Shore  were  among  their  patron's  fellow-passengers.  The 
care  Hastings  had  taken  to  provide  for  his  dependants  is 
shown  by  the  fact  that  Colonel  Watson  writes  him  a 
hurried  note  on  February  ist  on  behalf  of  the  only  one 
of  his  servants  who  had  not  received  a  present  in  addition 
to  his  wages.  All  those  who  had  grown  old  in  his  employ 
were  pensioned,  and  Mrs  Hastings'  ayah  Peggy  and  one 
other  were  still  in  receipt  of  their  pensions  as  late  as 
1813.  The  natives  generally  were  plunged  in  grief  at 
his  departure.  "The  Maolavy  of  the  Muddrissa  (the 
Mohammedan  college  Hastings  had  established),  tells 
me  that  he  visits  me  as  he  would  your  Tomb,"  writes 
Thompson.  "  Little  Bissumber  Pundit "  has  commis- 
sioned Devis  to  make  a  replica  of  his  portrait  of  the 
Governor-General  for  him.  Even  in  1814,  Lady  Call- 
cott  testifies  that  the  natives  still  ascribed  to  Hastings 
the  stability  of  British  rule  in  India. 

The  voyage  home  was  swift  and  comparatively  un- 
eventful. Hastings  landed  at  Plymouth  on  June  J-3th, 
without,  apparently,  any  of  the  public  demonstrations 
which  had  marked  his  wife's  arrival,  and  posted  to  Lon- 
don. Here  he  met  with  the  first  of  the  many  disappoint- 
ments which  his  native  land  had  in  store  for  him — Mrs 
Hastings  was  at  Cheltenham.  He  despatched  an  express 
letter  to  her,  following  it  two  days  later  himself,  and  they 
met  at  Maidenhead  Bridge. 


420 


CONCLUDING    CHAPTER. 

THE  news  that  Hastings  had  actually  departed  spread 
blank  dismay  among  the  English  in  India  and  the 
natives  most  nearly  associated  with  them.  The  dis- 
bandment  of  the  infantry  bodyguard,  which  was  com- 
posed of  Sepoys  belonging  to  the  Nawab- Vizier's  forces, 
and  was  to  have  escorted  Prince  Jiwan  Bakht  back  to 
Delhi,  raised  ominous  forebodings  in  the  minds  of  Major 
Eaton  and  other  officers  serving  with  Oudh  regiments. 
The  old  Emperor  was  left  to  the  tender  mercies  of 
Sindhia,  since  Major  Browne,  who  was  to  have  exer- 
cised a  friendly  supervision  over  the  results  of  the  new 
arrangement,  was  recalled,  and  the  Prince  refused  to 
return  unless  the  Maratha's  promises  were  guaranteed 
by  the  British  and  the  Nawab-Vizier.  The  Nawab  of 
Arcot  sank  into  a  state  of  utter  despondency.  To 
Hastings  his  inability  to  help  those  who  believed  him 
still  powerful  was  a  continual  misery.  These  were  not 
natives  only.  For  years  his  Correspondence  is  filled 
with  piteous  appeals  for  pecuniary  help,  or  reinstate- 
ment in  the  offices  of  which  they  had  been  deprived, 
from  soldiers  and  civilians  suffering  under  the  new 
retrenchment  schemes.  At  first,  and  even  more  par- 
ticularly after  his  triumphant  acquittal,  they  watched 
eagerly  for  his  return  whenever  a  new  Governor-General 
was  to  be  appointed,  but  this  hope  fades  away  gradually, 
and  his  rule  is  looked  back  to  as  a  kind  of  golden  age. 
His  portrait  by  Devis  was  handed  on  from  one  to  another 
like  a  charm,  though  opinions  varied  as  to  its  merits  as 


Painted  by 


A.  W.  Dcvis. 


THE    HON'BLE    WARREN    HASTINGS,   ESQ. 
GOVERNOR-GENERAL  OF  BENGAL. 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  421 

a  picture.  "  After  all,"  says  Larkins,  for  whom  it  was 
painted,  "  I  can  assure  you  every  other  part  but  the 
face  is  a  mere  daub.  Yet  such  as  it  is,  with  the  Ring 
now  on  my  little  Finger  it  shall  go  with  the  Estate  to 
be  purchased  as  a  lasting  Monument  of  your  Kindness 
to  me  to  my  Boy  your  Namesake  and  Godson,  who 
regularly  salams  to  it  every  Morning  after  he  is  dressed, 
for  we  both  sleep  in  the  same  Room  with  your  Resem- 
blance. As  for  myself  you  are  at  my  Right  Hand 
upwards  of  10  out  of  each  24  Hours,  as  that  is  now 
the  Portion  of  my  Life  devoted  to  the  Desk."  This 
dearly  loved  son,  who  was  "  very  proud  of  calling  him- 
self Hastings  Behaudur,"  and  ''often  points  up  to  your 
picture  saying  Jeetee  Ro,"  died  in  1788.  Matrimonial 
troubles  had  destroyed  in  poor  Larkins  the  hope  of 
founding  a  family,  and  when  he  quitted  India  in  1793, 
he  left  the  portrait  with  Chapman.  Chapman,  leaving 
Calcutta  in  1794  for  the  salt  agency  of  Conti,  entrusts 
to  Turner  "  that  excellent  portrait  done  by  Davis,  which 
many  of  your  Friends  agree  in  thinking  by  far  the  best 
they  have  seen.  It  is  at  present  in  the  Hands  of  Hud- 
son, a  Mezotinto  Scraper,  who  as  far  as  he  has  advanced 
in  the  Work,  promises  to  make  from  it  a  most  excellent 
engraving."1  Turner  hung  it  in  the  upper  hall  of  the 
Alipur  house,  but  restored  it  to  Chapman  when  he  was 
leaving  India.  At  Hay's  suggestion,  Chapman  offered  it 
to  the  Indian  Government,  and  writes  in  1796,  "  The 
Picture  which  I  got  from  Larkins,  now  fronts  that  of 
the  Marquis  (Cornwallis)  in  the  Government  House." 
Sir  John  D'Oyly  may  intend  to  refer  to  it  when  he 
writes  in  1805,  "  I  saw  your  Picture  (an  abominable 
One  it  is  true  by  Zophanee)  in  a  conspicuous  Place  in 
the  Council  chamber,"  but  its  subsequent  history  and 
its  transfer  to  its  present  abode,  the  National  Portrait 
Gallery,  are  obscure. 

1  Only  one  copy  of  this  engraving  is  known,  which  is  at  the  India  Office. 
There  is  no  copy  at  the  British  Museum. 


422  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

On  the  series  of  Governors-General  who  succeeded 
Hastings  during  his  lifetime  we  find  various  comments 
in  his  correspondents'  letters.  McPherson  once  disposed 
of,  regretted  by  no  one,  the  bluff  and  sturdy  Lord  Corn- 
wallis  plays  something  like  the  part  of  a  bull  in  a  china- 
shop.  Economy  is  his  aim.  He  "  commences  house- 
keeper" on  his  own  account  as  soon  as  possible,  drops 
the  public  breakfasts  which  Hastings  had  found  such  a 
tax  on  his  time  and  purse,  and  dispenses  with  a  country- 
house,  in  favour  of  a  mere  bungalow  at  Barrackpore.1 
With  his  military  secretary,  Colonel  Ross  (who  was 
known  as  "  the  Governor  "  in  virtue  of  the  ascendancy 
he  exercised  over  his  patron),  he  boasted  that  he  had 
never  lost  a  meal  in  India,  attributing  his  good  health 
to  regular  exercise.  A  ride  of  five  or  six  miles  at  gun- 
firing,  and  a  drive  to  Alipur  in  the  evening,  was  his 
allowance.  When  he  returned  home,  to  justify  Hastings 
and  confound  his  enemies  by  his  evidence  at  the  Trial, 
he  was  succeeded  by  Sir  John  Shore,  afterwards  Lord 
Teignmouth.  Shore  had  begun  his  official  career  as  a 
convinced  follower  of  Francis,  but  personal  intercourse 
with  Hastings  made  them  friends  for  life.  Like  Corn- 
wallis,  he  was  a  strong  advocate  of  economy,  and  prided 
himself  on  being  attended  by  only  one-fourth  the  number 
of  aides-de-camp  to  which  Hastings  had  been  accus- 
tomed. As  a  statesman,  he  displayed  a  lack  of  firmness 
amounting  to  feebleness,  and  a  preference  for  expediency 
over  right  which  is  surprising  in  a  man  of  his  high  per- 
sonal character,  but  which  was  probably  due  to  a  nervous 
hatred  of  war,  and  a  horror  of  being  dragged  into  in- 
creased expense.  "  We  are  timid  where  we  ought  to 
be  bold,  and  daring,  even  to  temerity,  in  occasions  that 
require  lenity  and  conciliation,"  says  Turner.  "  He  has 
a  miserable  constitution,  and  suffers  himself  to  be  de- 

1  He  took  possession  of  Barrackpore  in  virtue  of  his  dual  position  as  Gov- 
ernor-General and  Commander-in-Chief,  but  his  civilian  successors  retained  it, 
causing  much  heart-burning  in  military  circles. 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  423 

pressed  by  constant  regrets  of  his  absent  Family,"  writes 
Palmer  of  Shore.  "  A  good  Man — but  as  cold  as  a  Grey 
Hound's  Nose,"  is  Toone's  verdict. 

A  very  different  person  was  his  successor,  Lord 
Mornington,  who  was  before  long  created  Marquis  of 
Wellesley.  Anglo-Indians  at  home  looked  on  with  awful 
joy  while  he  advanced  the  Company's  frontiers  and  in- 
creased its  expenditure,  planned  and  executed  schemes  of 
conquest,  and  turned  allied  powers  into  vassals — pursued, 
in  short,  the  policy  which  had  been  alleged  as  a  crime 
against  Hastings,  to  an  extent  never  contemplated  by 
Hastings  in  his  wildest  dreams.  In  India,  his  "  magni- 
ficent plans"  were  doubtfully  regarded,  and  men  compared 
the  treatment  meted  out  to  Hastings  over  the  Benares 
affair  with  the  unconcern  exhibited  when  Wellesley,  in 
the  most  high-handed  manner,  virtually  annexed  Oudh. 
There  is  a  strong  under  -  tone  of  dissatisfaction  and 
anxiety  in  Colonel  Palmer's  letters,  and  he  remarks 
grimly  that  Hastings  evidently  served  as  a  scapegoat 
for  the  sins  of  all  future  Indian  rulers,  as  well  as  all 
those  of  the  past.  Lord  Wellesley's  ruling  passion  is 
love  of  fame,  of  which  he  is  insatiable,  and  he  carries 
it  too  often  to  ridiculous  lengths,  while  his  vanity  almost 
surpasses  conception.  He  keeps  even  his  own  "family" 
at  a  respectful  distance,  and  alienates  the  services  by 
bestowing  illegal  powers  on  his  brother,  Colonel  Welles- 
ley,1  allowing  him  to  supersede  the  authority  of  the 
Bombay  Government  over  its  own  army,  and  that  of 
the  local  Residents  in  their  own  sphere  of  operations. 
Hastings  watched  his  progress  with  mingled  admiration 
and  dismay.  "  Lord  Wellesley  has  constructed  a  political 
system  of  vast  strength  and  extent,  and  capable  of  im- 
provement," he  writes ;  "  but  of  a  weight  which  will 
require  that  it  should  be  continually  upheld  by  an  arm 
as  strong  as  his ;  but  that  if  they  nominate  a  successor 
to  him,  of  abilities  much  inferior  to  his,  and  of  an  activity 

1  Afterwards  the  Duke  of  Wellington. 


424  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

of  mind  not  equal  to  his,  the  whole  structure  will  fall  to 
pieces,  and  all  that  we  formerly  possessed  be  lost  in  the 
same  ruin."  The  Nemesis  which  he  foresaw  was  not  far 
off.  The  Governor-General  had  committed  the  heinous 
crime  of  "  using  expressions  of  Ridicule  and  Contempt 
about  the  Company"  at  his  own  table,  and  the  words 
were  carried  home.  "  If  I  was  in  his  confidence,"  says 
Hastings,  "  I  would  tell  him  that  civility  costs  little." 
But  no  such  wise  adviser  was  at  hand,  and  out  came 
Lord  Cornwallis  again,  entirely  unexpected  by  the 
magnificent  Marquis,  and  set  to  work  diligently  to 
reduce  the  "  system  "  to  chaos. 

Studiously  avoiding  his  predecessor,  who  postponed  his 
departure  in  the  hope  of  exchanging  ideas  with  him, 
Lord  Cornwallis,  beginning  at  Government  House,  made 
such  changes  as  "  never  were  seen  in  so  short  a  time." 
The  Governor-General  was  merely  to  be  addressed  as 
"the  Honourable,"  such  terms  as  "Excellency"  and 
"  Most  Noble "  being  forbidden,  the  Bodyguard  was 
abolished,  many  of  the  servants  were  dismissed,  and  the 
remainder  ordered  "  to  divest  themselves  of  their  ap- 
propriate turbands  and  badges."  So  sweeping  were  the 
reforms  that  "  Government  House  is  quite  a  desart,  and 
his  Lordship  himself  has  been  seen  to  come  out  of  his 
room  to  hunt  for  a  hircarrah."  More  dangerous  was  his 
conduct  in  giving  out  that  the  King  and  Company  dis- 
approved highly  of  Lord  Wellesley's  measures,  and  had 
sent  him  out  to  get  rid  of  the  fruits  of  the  recent  con- 
quests. The  news  flew  like  wildfire  through  India,  and 
Sindhia's  degenerate  successor,  Daulat  Rao,  broke  off 
promptly  the  negociations  which  were  on  the  point  of 
culminating  in  a  treaty.  Lord  Lake,  the  Commander-in- 
Chief,  resigned,  disgusted  with  the  treatment  he  received, 
and  Palmer  records  that  "  never  since  the  Year  1785  has 
a  Governor  been  so  much  regretted"  as  Lord  Wellesley. 
Hastening  up-country,  to  continue  his  work,  Lord  Corn- 
wallis was  seized  with  illness,  and  after  an  astonishing 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  425 

rally,  died  at  Ghazipur.  "Our  evening's  lounge  yesterday 
was  interrupted  by  minute  guns  from  the  Fort,"  writes 
Sir  John  D'Oyly  when  the  news  reached  Calcutta  eight 
days  afterwards. 

During  a  brief  interregnum,  the  policy  of  Lord  Corn- 
wallis  was  continued  by  Sir  George  Barlowe,  the  senior 
Member  of  Council,  who  was  successful  in  concluding 
treaties  which  abandoned  the  Company's  allies,  and 
encouraged  its  defeated  foes  to  demand  their  surrendered 
territories  back.  At  home  the  "  Hastingsians  "  held  their 
breath.  "  I  am  all  anxiety  lest  that  spightful  Mr  Francis 
should  be  sent  to  India,"  writes  Major  Scott  Waring's 
daughter  Mrs  Reade  to  Hastings,  and  almost  as  much 
dreaded  was  Lord  Lauderdale,  whom  Fox  was  determined 
to  appoint,  in  spite  of  his  bad  character  both  in  public 
and  private  life.  The  appointment  of  Lord  Minto,  when 
it  was  announced,  was  scarcely  less  bitter  to  Hastings, 
who  considered  him  even  more  unfit  than  Francis  or 
Lauderdale,  and  for  the  moment  he  thought  of  petition- 
ing the  Court  of  Directors  against  it,  but  was  dissuaded 
by  Toone.  Things  turned  out  better  than  he  expected. 
Sir  John  D'Oyly  writes  that  Lord  Minto  is  "  establishing 
a  mean  between  Lord  Wellesley's  expence  and  parade, 
and  the  parsimony  of  Lord  Cornwallis,"  and  has  gone 
out  of  his  way  to  express  a  readiness  to  serve  any  friend 
of  Hastings',  in  return  for  ancient  favours.  Palmer  says 
that  he  spoke  of  "your  kindness  and  patronage  afforded 
to  his  brother,  which  he  could  never  forget,  although 
party  considerations  had  compelled  him  to  appear  as 
your  enemy."  This  puerile  and  belated  apology  had  no 
effect  in  mitigating  Hastings'  hostility.  The  long-dead 
Alexander  Elliot  he  had  loved  and  mourned,  for  Hugh 
Elliot  (afterwards  Governor  of  Madras),  who  stood  by 
him  faithfully  through  the  years  of  evil  report,  he  had 
a  hearty  liking  and  respect,  but  for  the  ennobled  Sir 
Gilbert  he  displays  only  measureless  contempt.  Palmer's 
letters  show  Lord  Minto  engaging  in  conquests  in  Java, 


426  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

and  draining  India  of  "  specia"  to  impress  the  Directors 
with  his  economy,  but  leaving  few  admirers  of  his  public 
conduct  in  India,  though  many  personal  friends,  when  he 
found  himself  unexpectedly  superseded  by  Lord  Moira. 

The  appointment  of  Lord  Moira,  afterwards  Marquis  of 
Hastings,  was  one  that  the  aged  recluse  at  Daylesford 
could  welcome  with  all  his  heart.  "  I  promise  you  a  good 
and  popular  chief  in  the  Earl  of  Moira,"  he  writes  to 
Charles  D'Oyly.  "  He  possesses  some  (?  none)  of  the 
faults  attached  to  a  good  character.  His  predominant 
quality  is  a  high  sense  of  honor,  and  his  understanding 
both  solid  and  brilliant.  His  lady,  not  beautiful,  is  most 
amiable."  Lord  Moira  had  taken  a  continuous  interest 
in  Indian  affairs  (he  had  begun  the  study  of  Persian 
twenty  years  before  with  a  Colonel  Roberts,  Colonel 
Ironside's  brother-in-law),  and  he  was  an  old  friend  of 
Hastings,  whose  family  claimed  kinship  with  his.  Before 
going  out  he  obtained  from  him  all  the  information  he 
could  by  intercourse  and  correspondence,  and  General 
Palmer  pronounces  with  delight  that  he  has  arrived  well 
prepared  for  his  work.  It  was,  nevertheless,  under  him 
that  the  final  stages  of  the  transformation  from  the  old 
India  which  Hastings  knew  to  pre-Mutiny  India  took 
place.  "  A  Formality  and  stately  Etiquette  is  introduced 
at  the  Government  House  not  at  all  suited  to  the  Habits 
and  Manners  of  this  Community,"  writes  Palmer,  who,  as 
an  aide-de-camp  of  long  ago,  was  an  authority  on  the 
subject.  "  Whether  Custom  will  reconcile  it  is  doubtful  ; 
at  present  it  rather  disgusts.  The  Society  is  accustom'd 

o  an  intercourse  with  its  Governor  of  dignified  affability 
on  his  part,  and  of  respectful  freedom  on  theirs,  and  will 
not,  I  apprehend,  readily  adopt  the  relations  of  Sovereign 

nd  Subjects.  A  Household  Establishment  is  formed  re- 
sembling that  of  Royalty — probably  modelled  on  that  of 
the  Castle  of  Dublin.  Be  that  as  it  may,  the  Transition 
is  too  abrupt  to  please."  Charles  D'Oyly,  who  knew 
something  of  Dublin  Castle,  writes  even  more  strongly 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  427 

than  General  Palmer.  "  I  am  sorry  both  Lord  Moira 
and  Lady  Loudoun x  are  so  envelopped  in  formality  and 
grandeur,  for  there  is  no  approach  to  anything  like 
intimacy,  and  she  in  particular  seems  inclined  to  give 
general  satisfaction  to  everybody.  We  have  lately  been 
accustomed  to  so  little  state  that  the  present  system 
assumes  a  character  not  at  all  partaking  of  the  usual 
advantages  of  novelty  in  general,  but  of  confinement  and 
restriction  wholly  foreign  from  our  idea  of  comfort.  I 
believe  they  both  seek  popularity,  but  the  mode  of  acquir- 
ing it  varies  much  in  different  countries,  and  that  which 
forms  its  model  on  the  Rules  of  a  Court  in  Europe  is  the 
least  calculated  to  impress  Indian  Minds  which  have 
always  been  accustomed  to  the  exercise  of  a  freedom  the 
most  unrestrained."  Lord  Moira's  special  offence  lay  in 
his  appointing  a  chamberlain  and  other  officers  about  his 
person,  "  purely  for  Show  and  State,"  at  large  salaries, 
the  chamberlain  receiving,  so  it  is  alleged,  £3000  a  year. 
The  Governor-General  justifies  his  action  in  a  letter  to 
Hastings,  on  the  ground  that  "  All  appearances  of  Gov- 
ernment had  been  strangely  let  down :  and  the  conse- 
quences had  a  worse  effect  upon  the  minds  of  our  own 
people  than  on  the  conceptions  of  the  natives.  Slight 
toward  Government  had  become  much  the  fashion  and 
entailed  many  practical  embarrassments."  The  natives, 
at  any  rate,  felt  no  distaste  for  the  increased  state  main- 
tained at  Government  House,  for  they  believed  that  the 
soul  of  Warren  Hastings  was  reincarnated  in  his  namesake 
and  successor,  on  the  ground  that  he  "loves  the  Natives 
of  India,  and  thinks  highly  of  the  Company's  servants." 

1  The  titles  of  Lord  Moira  and  his  wife  were  many  and  complicated.  She 
was  Lady  Flora,  Countess  of  Loudoun  in  her  own  right.  He  was  known 
throughout  the  American  War  as  the  Hon.  Francis  Rawdon,  but  in  1783  he 
was  created  a  British  peer  as  Lord  Rawdon,  and  in  1793  succeeded  his  father 
in  the  earldom  of  Moira.  From  his  mother  he  inherited  the  ancient  barony  of 
Hastings,  which  added  the  name  Hastings  to  his  patronymic.  Finally,  in 
1818,  he  was  created  Viscount  Loudoun,  Earl  of  Rawdon,  and  Marquis  of 
Hastings.  The  marquisate  became  extinct  with  the  death  of  the  fourth  holder, 
his  grandson. 


428  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

Some  such  consolation  as  this  was  needed,  for  the  old 
friendly  intercourse  between  Europeans  and  natives  was 
gone,  never  to  return.  As  early  as  1802  Palmer  com- 
ments on  the  new  system  now  prevalent  of  depressing  the 
natives.  The  Wakils  of  the  country  powers  were  not 
allowed  to  pay  their  respects  to  the  Governor-General 
more  than  two  or  three  times  a  year.  Natives  were  ex- 
cluded from  important  posts,  and  treated  in  society  with 
a  mortifying  hauteur  and  reserve,  "  in  fact,  they  have 
scarcely  any  social  intercourse  with  us."  In  1809  he 
writes  that  the  system  of  forcing  English  law  and  law- 
courts  upon  the  natives  is  a  cause  of  constant  friction 
in  the  newly  annexed  territory  and  the  tributary  states. 
In  1813  John  Palmer  mentions  that  Bissumber  Pundit's 
family  long  to  hear  more  frequently  from  their  old 
patron.  They  fear  his  silence  may  rise  from  "difficulty 
in  supporting  a  Persian  correspondence,"  and  entreat 
him  to  write  in  English.  They  have  nothing  to  solicit, 
but  it  is  a  point  of  honour  and  pride  with  them  to  receive 
occasional  evidences  of  Hastings'  regard.  "  Families  in 
their  condition  have  little  other  gratification  left  them 
than  the  notice  of  their  former  Protectors  and  Friends ; 
for  even  of  the  old  Indians  remaining,  a  few  only  pre- 
serve those  observances  towards  them,  which  once  was 
an  universal  practice  of  Policy  or  Compassion." 

This  growing  alienation  from  the  natives  was  due  to 
two  causes,  the  increasing  Europeanisation  of  -life  in 
Calcutta,  and  the  advance  of  the  English  from  the 
position  of  traders  admitted  on  sufferance  to  that  of 
the  ruling  race.  In  social  matters,  the  larger  propor- 
tion of  Englishwomen  in  the  community,  and  the  con- 
sequent decrease  of  intermarriage  with  natives,  tended 
at  once  to  set  up  barriers  between  the  two  races,  while 
the  restrictions  imposed  on  the  making  of  fortunes  led 
to  the  gradual  disappearance  of  the  class  of  wealthy,  un- 
scrupulous natives  who  had  encouraged,  emulated,  and 
grown  rich  upon  the  vices  of  the  strangers.  The  lavish 
profusion  of  old  days  was  no  more.  There  were  only 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  429 

two  great  prizes  in  the  Service  —  the  Collectorships  of 
Patna  and  Benares.  No  other  post  brought  in  more 
than  19,000  rupees  a-year,  which  merely  enabled  a  man 
to  live  moderately  and  pay  off  his  debts  by  degrees.  The 
only  people  to  make  fortunes,  says  Sir  John  D'Oyly,  are 
"Taylors  and  Shopkeepers,  who  return  home  to  obtain 
the  hands  of  the  Lady  Seraphinas  and  Louisas."  To 
the  "  old  Bengallers  "  who  came  out  again,  the  glory  of 
Calcutta  seemed  to  have  departed.  If  we  may  believe 
Sir  John  D'Oyly,  it  was  now  the  custom  for  a  family  to 
give  one  or  two  great  dinners  in  a  month,  and  dine  out 
on  all  the  other  days.  Trying  to  revert  to  old  customs, 
he  confesses  that  he  found  it  more  expensive  to  "  keep 
a  constant  family  table,  where  a  select  number  of  Friends 
have  Admission  at  Pleasure,"  than  to  give  occasional  large 
entertainments.  General  Palmer  also  points  out  the 
change  that  has  taken  place.  "  Dinner  is  about  8  o'clock 
in  the  evening.  A  less  formal  meal  and  without  Guests 
is  taken  in  most  Families  between  2  and  3  o'clock. 
Repasts  are  in  general  more  frugal  than  formerly,  and 
considerably  greater  Economy  is  practised  in  the  Articles 
of  Servants  and  Equipage.  Few  who  keep  wheel  Carriages 
use  Palkees.  In  the  army  a  still  greater  degree  of  Parsi- 
mony prevails,  especially  among  the  inferior  Officers,  most 
of  whom  have  no  other  carriage  than  a  poney,  walk  or 
ride  out  in  the  hottest  Sun  without  a  Chattah,1  and  in 
the  dark  without  a  Mussal  or  Lantern.  I  know  several 
young  men  who  save  70  and  80  rupees  monthly  out  of 
150.  Almost  all  of  these  too  are  highly  independent  in 
spirit,  paying  little  or  no  attention  to  the  Superiors  except 
on  Duty.  They  are  consequently  but  little  met  with  in 
Society.  I  think  this  conduct  very  commendable  and  the 
result  of  manly  Sentiment  and  Integrity.  Upon  the  whole 
I  think  the  alteration  in  Manners  and  Customs  is  an 
Improvement.  I  wish  this  slight  sketch  of  a  Society, 
of  which  you  was  the  Head  under  different  modes  of 
Life,  may  afford  you  a  moment's  Amusement."  In  other 

1  Large  sun -umbrella. 


430  LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

words,  it  will  be  seen  that  Calcutta  had  undergone  the 
change  which  is  witnessed  nowadays  when  a  small  station, 
the  inhabitants  of  which  have  been  like  one  family,  having 
most  things  in  common,  grows  into  a  large  cantonment 
or  commercial  centre. 

The  advance  of  the  British  frontiers,  and  the  conse- 
quent withdrawal  of  those  of  the  native  rulers,  was 
another  pregnant  cause  of  the  diminution  of  native  in- 
fluence. General  Palmer  notes  in  1809  that  all  the 
country  powers  which  were  of  importance  in  Hastings' 
day  seem  to  have  sunk  into  obscurity.  Oudh  enjoyed 
only  a  mockery  of  independence.  The  character  of 
Asaf-u-Daula  had  deteriorated  steadily  when  the  per- 
sonal influence  of  Hastings  was  removed,  and  he  was 
left  in  the  hands  of  his  evil  advisers.  In  1790  he  is 
stigmatized  as  "  the  most  sordid  and  illiberal  Prince  in 
Indostan,"  and  is  said  to  have  quarrelled  with  his  mother 
for  plucking  a  rose  in  his  garden.  He  died  in  1798, 
and  Sir  John  Shore's  government  took  advantage  of 
the  dispute  which  followed  over  the  succession  to  im- 
pose onerous  conditions  as  the  price  of  recognising  his 
brother  Sadat  Ali  as  his  heir.  A  further  humiliation 
was  forced  upon  the  new  Nawab  -  Vizier  a  few  years 
later,  when  he  was  compelled  to  sign  a  treaty  which 
deprived  him  of  half  his  territory,  and  reduced  his  prin- 
cipality almost  to  the  status  of  a  zamindari.  Sadat  Ali 
had  a  passion  for  hoarding,  but  on  learning  in  1802  of 
Hastings'  poverty  through  the  Resident,  Gore  Ouseley, 
who  had  been  prompted  by  John  Palmer  to  bring  the 
subject  to  his  notice,  he  offered  him  a  pension.  2000 
sicca  rupees  a  month  for  life  was  the  amount  intended, 
but  finding  that  the  idea  was  not  viewed  favourably  by 
the  Court  of  Directors,  Hastings  refused  the  offer.1 

1  At  this  time  he  was  writing  to  his  stepson:  "Your  dear  Mother  desires 
that  you  will  not  engage  a  cook,  as  we  shall  be  so  heavily  taxed,  that  we  shall 
probably  be  reduced  to  the  choice,  either  to  have  no  cook,  or  no  victuals.  We 
cannot  aford  both." 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  431 

The  empire  of  Tipu  Sultan,  spared  by  Lord  Macartney 
and  his  commissioners  in  1784,  and  again  by  Lord  Corn- 
wallis  in  1792,  had  fallen  before  Lord  Wellesley,  and  his 
territories  were  divided  between  the  Nizam,  the  Paishwa, 
and  a  Hindu  Rajah  of  the  family  from  whom  they  had 
been  originally  snatched.  The  turn  of  the  Marathas 
came  next.  They  are  reported  to  be  "  uneasy  and  sus- 
picious "  in  1802,  owing  to  the  alliance  with  the  Nizam, 
and  Daulat  Rao  Sindhia,  enraged  by  the  further  treaty 
between  the  British  and  the  Paishwa,  called  Raghuji 
Bhonsla  of  Berar  to  his  aid  for  a  supreme  effort.  Their 
united  armies  were  defeated  at  Assaye,  and  the  success 
was  followed  up  with  so  much  vigour  that  the  confeder- 
ates were  compelled  to  cede  a  great  part  of  their 
dominions  to  obtain  peace.  Unwarned  by  their  fate, 
Holkar  was  the  next  to  try  conclusions  with  Lord 
Wellesley,  and  in  the  war  which  ensued  he  succeeded 
in  shaking  ominously  the  growing  fabric  of  British 
power.  The  repeated  reverses  before  Bhartpur  brought 
about  a  situation  of  greater  danger  than  at  any  time 
since  1781,  thought  Palmer,  but  the  vigorous  measures 
of  Lord  Lake  brought  Holkar  to  his  knees  at  last.  The 
"  peace  at  any  price"  policy  of  Lord  Cornwallis  and 
Barlowe,  who  came  into  power  at  a  most  inopportune 
moment,  led  them  to  whittle  down  the  conditions  im- 
posed on  the  rebels  to  such  an  extent  as  practically  to 
leave  the  whole  work  to  be  done  over  again  as  soon  as 
the  chiefs  felt  themselves  strong  enough.  Wars  of  this 
kind,  however,  waged  at  a  great  distance  and  in  un- 
known territories,  could  be  ignored  in  civilian  circles, 
and  failed  to  exert  such  an  influence  on  the  public 
mind  as  those  in  former  years,  in  which  the  Presidency 
towns  were  themselves  threatened. 

The  unhappy  representative  of  the  House  of  Timur, 
the  control  of  whose  person  and  territories  was  one  of  the 
prizes  in  these  quarrels,  had  sunk  far  lower  than  even 
in  Hastings'  day.  Prince  Jiwan  Bakht  had  remained 


432  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

at  Benares,  refusing  to  trust  himself  in  Sindhia's  power, 
until  the  end  of  1787,  when  the  Maratha  chief  suffered 
a  reverse  of  fortune.  In  trying  to  extend  his  power  over 
the  whole  of  the  Emperor's  nominal  dominions,  he  met 
with  a  severe  repulse  before  Jaipur,  and  found  himself  at 
once  in  a  hornet's  nest.  All  the  Rajput  princes  com- 
bined against  him,  entering  into  a  confederacy  such  as 
Hastings  had  vainly  tried  to  form  against  the  Marathas 
twenty  years  before,1  as  Palmer  recalls.  As  soon  as  the 
news  of  Sindhia's  defeat  reached  Benares,  the  Prince 
determined  to  repair  to  Delhi,  contrary  to  the  advice 
of  Lord  Cornwallis,  with  whom  he  had  an  interview  at 
Allahabad.  Lord  Cornwallis  had  previously  offended 
Jiwan  Bakht  by  informing  him  that  if  he  insisted  on 
paying  a  visit  to  Calcutta,  he  would  be  treated  with 
all  respect,  but  that  the  honours  always  claimed  by 
the  house  of  Timur,  and  accorded  so  punctiliously  by 
Hastings,  would  not  be  paid  him.  The  continued 
asylum  at  Benares,  which  was  all  that  the  Governor- 
General  would  offer,  had  no  charms  for  the  Prince  in 
comparison  with  the  prospect  of  regaining  his  hereditary 
dominions,  and  he  returned  what  he  considered  the 
insults  of  Lord  Cornwallis  by  an  intimation  that  in  the 
event  of  success  he  intended  to  raise  afresh  the  question 
of  the  districts  of  Korah,  Karra  and  Allahabad,  thus 
offending  not  only  the  English,  but  the  Nawab-Vizier, 
who  rented  them  from  them.  Reaching  Delhi,  he  was 
"  cordially  received  by  his  Father  and  invested  with  the 
Offices  of  Meer  Bukshy  and  Subadar  of  Agra"2  and 
departed  to  join  "  Ismael  Bey  Cawn,"  who  was  besieging 
Agra.  Palmer  says  that  this  Ismail  Bey  was  the  mur- 
derer of  Mirza  Shaft,  the  Mohamed  Beg  Hummdannee 
whom  Sindhia  had  defeated  in  1784.  Another  Moham- 
medan adventurer,  the  Rohilla  Ghulam  Kadir,  with  an 

1  See  supra,  p.  39. 

2  These  details  are   from  Palmer's   letters.      They  do  not  appear  to  be 
generally  known. 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  433 

army  of  "  twenty  thousand  desperate  Rohillas "  at  his 
back,  was  busy  reducing  Sindhia's  forts  in  the  Doab  one 
after  the  other.  To  lookers-on  it  seemed  the  height  of 
rashness  for  the  Prince  to  league  himself  with  these 
two  men,  who  were  little  likely  to  fight  for  any  hand 
but  their  own,  and  after  making  trial  of  them  both,  and 
discovering  that  they  were  ready  enough  to  use  him  as 
a  stalking-horse,  but  had  no  intention  of  allowing  him 
any  real  power,  he  withdrew  again  to  Benares,  where 
he  died  of  fever  in  May,  1788.  In  the  following  month 
Ghulam  Kadir  obtained  possession  of  Delhi,  and  having 
blinded  Shah  Alam,  placed  Mirza  Akhbar,  who  was 
younger  than  Jiwan  Bakht,  but  had  always  been  his 
father's  favourite  son,1  on  the  throne.  Sindhia,  regain- 
ing the  advantage,  restored  the  unfortunate  monarch  to 
the  mockery  of  power,  but  his  sad  state  is  poignantly 
displayed  in  a  letter  from  Turner  in  1794.  "  I  was  con- 
ducted to  the  Presence,"  he  writes.  "All  the  antient 
Forms  of  the  Court  (and  nothing  else  remains)  are 
strictly  observed.  I  was  received  in  the  Dewan  Khass. 
Far  from  the  Impression  of  Magnificence  the  Durbar 
struck  me  as  a  dismal  and  gloomy  Spectacle.  The 
emaciated  Monarch  seated  upon  the  Musnud  was  sur- 
rounded, in  the  Place  of  noble  Persians,  with  a  group 
of  mean  Marattas.  Nothing  concealed  the  Violence 
with  which  the  King  had  been  deprived  of  Sight  by 
that  Ruffian  Gholam  Kader.  His  Sons  to  the  Number 
of  thirty  six  and  Grand  Children  were  seated  on  each 
Side  dressed  in  coarse  Maratta  Chintz  such  as  a  Menial 
Servant  in  any  decent  Family  would  be  ashamed  to  wear. 
— Yet  his  Majesty  spoke  with  Firmness  and  seemed 
desirous  of  conversing  a  great  deal,  which  Sied  Reza 
Khawn  told  me  afterwards  he  was  only  repressed  in  by 
Awe  of  Shah  Nizam -u-Dien,  a  Fackeer  of  that  Title 
placed  in  Charge  by  Sindia.  He  asked  with  an  in- 
terested Attention  many  Questions  respecting  you,  calling 

1  State  Papers. 
2  E 


434  LETTERS   OF  WARREN   HASTINGS. 

you  his  Pherzund.1 — It  is  but  a  few  Days  since  in  the 
Anguish  of  his  Heart  he  deplored  in  full  Durbar  his 
misguided  Distrust  of  the  English  and  ill  placed  Confi- 
dence in  the  Nation2  who  has  heaped  upon  him  every 
contemptuous  Indignity  and  torture  him  with  the  Pangs 
of  Penury."  A  brief  gleam  of  brightness  visited  the 
imperial  family  during  the  rule  of  Lord  Wellesley,  who 
expressed  his  intention  of  carrying  out  the  policy  Hastings 
had  wished  to  initiate,  and  "  restoring  the  House  of 
Timoor  to  a  considerable  degree  of  dignity,  authority 
and  power,"  regarding  it  as  a  useful  bulwark  against 
the  Sikhs  and  the  Marathas.  But  on  his  departure  the 
old  Emperor,  whose  hopes  had  been  raised  for  a  brief 
space,  was  sacrificed  again — a  treachery  that  brought 
its  own  punishment  in  the  unchecked  rise  of  the  power 
of  Ranjit  Singh,  which  is  noted  in  1813  as  beginning  to 
cause  serious  apprehension.  Mirza  Akhbar  succeeded 
his  father  as  a  puppet-king,  and  his  brother  Bahadar 
Shah,  who  followed  him,  lived  to  find  himself  acclaimed 
as  the  successor  of  Timur  by  the  revolted  Sepoys  in 
1857,  and  to  see  the  sun  of  his  dynasty  set  in  fire 
and  blood. 

One  by  one  the  old  friends  who  kept  Hastings  in  touch 
with  India  drop  out  of  the  Correspondence.  Colonel 
Pearse  died  in  1789,  "  apparently  worn  out."  He 
seems  to  have  left  a  native  wife,  for  there  are  several 
letters  beautifully  written  in  Persian,  with  an  interlinear 
English  translation,  signed  "  Panna  Pearse,"  and  asking 
Hastings'  protection  for  "  Mr  Tommy,"  presumably  her 
son.3  Turner  left  India  in  bad  health  in  1798,  and  died 
in  1801.  Larkins  returned  home  in  1793,  and  died  in 
1800.  Several  rather  pathetic  letters  come  from  Mr 

1  Farzand,  child. 

2  The  moment  when  the  Emperor  rejected  the  advice  of  the  English,  and 
threw  himself  into  the  arms  of  the  Marathas  to  be  restored  to  his  throne,  was 
as  far  back  as  1771. 

3  The  present  writer  is  informed  by  Colonel  Hugh  Pearse  that  a  son  of 
Pearse's,  named  Mohammed,  was  educated  at  Harrow,  but  disappears  after 
leaving  the  school. 


CONCLUDING    CHAPTER.  435 

Motte,  whose  wife  declined  to  return  to  him  when  she 
had  reached  England  in  Mrs  Hastings'  train.  From  the 
frequent  mention  of  her  in  the  home  letters  she  seems 
to  have  lived  in  "  endless  English  comfort,  by  county 
folk  caressed,"  regardless  of  the  claims  of  her  husband, 
who  writes  of  himself  as  "  deprived  of  the  comforts  of 
domestic  happiness,  and  despised  by  a  woman  who  never 
behaved  with  impropriety  except  to  me."  He  fears  that 
the  rent  of  the  house  occupied  by  Mr  Justice  Hyde, 
which  belongs  to  her,  is  not  enough  to  enable  her  "  to 
live  genteely  "  in  England,  and  he  asks  Hastings,  whom 
he  says  he  regards  as  her  guardian,  to  assure  him  that 
she  is  not  straitened.  The  next  year  he  is  removed 
from  his  office  of  joint  superintendent  of  police,  and 
obliged  to  live  at  Serampore  to  avoid  his  creditors.  The 
last  mention  of  him  is  in  a  letter  from  Palmer  in  1802, 
which  says  that  "  poor  Motte  is  well  and  chearful,  but 
breaking,  and  his  faculties  a  little  impaired."  General 
Palmer  himself  died  in  1816.  His  chivalrous  devotion 
to  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  had  remained  unabated  by 
time  or  distance,  and  Sir  John  D'Oyly  found  him  on 
his  return  to  India  "the  same  worthy  warm-hearted 
Friend  we  ever  knew  him."  His  great  desire,  that  of 
visiting  England  and  meeting  his  old  patron  once  more, 
was  ungratined.  "  You  will  grieve  for  the  loss  of  our 
dear  friend  General  Palmer,"  writes  Hastings  to  David 
Anderson.1  "  I  have  some  time  expected  it,  and  long 
relinquished  the  hope  of  seeing  him  again." 

Of  those  friends  who  returned  home  and  settled  in 
England  the  record  is  little  more  cheering.  As  has 
already  been  remarked,  Toone  and  David  Anderson 
stand  almost  alone  in  enjoying  a  moderate  level  of 
happiness.  Chapman's  later  history  is  particularly  sad. 
He  returned  from  India  with  a  fortune  of  £70,000,  and 
settling  in  Devonshire,  became  M.P.  for  Newton.  In 
1806  Hastings  receives  an  anxious  letter  from  Mr  Wilt- 
shire, a  country  neighbour,  who  entreats  him  to  exercise 
1  Gleig,  III.  580. 


436  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

all  his  influence  to  save  Chapman  from  ruin.  He  is 
plunging  into  high  play,  and  at  Bath  is  regarded  as  one 
of  the  greatest  dupes  to  be  found  at  the  gaming-tables, 
having  no  command  over  his  temper.  He  inherited 
the  propensity  from  his  father,  who  had  dissipated  the 
family  property,  and  "  suddenly  closed  a  long  life  most 
wretchedly  spent."  Hastings  wrote  urgently  to  Chap- 
man, and  received  injured  letters  protesting  his  innocence 
of  anything  but  very  moderate  play,  at  the  very  time  that 
he  was  staking  high  through  a  whole  winter.  In  1808 
he  went  to  London  to  vote  in  the  election  of  Directors 
at  the  India  House,  and  lost  something  like  £5000  in 
a  single  night.  At  the  beginning  of  the  next  year  he 
died — how,  we  are  not  told — having  reduced  his  fortune 
to  £10,000,  and  even  removed  some  of  his  remaining 
capital  from  India.  For  the  younger  members  of  his 
large  family  no  provision  remained,  and  Mrs  Chapman, 
"  whose  mind  is  too  great  to  regret  the  change  in  her 
situation,"  was  left  to  do  her  best  for  them.  There  is 
a  letter  from  her,  written  under  the  Wiltshires'  roof, 
thanking  Hastings  for  his  kindness. 

Markham's  fate  was  scarcely  happier.  He  writes  at 
the  end  of  1795  to  announce  his  marriage  to  a  Miss 
Bowles,  who,  he  mentions  apologetically,  has  a  fortune 
of  only  £1500,  as  she  is  her  father's  fifth  daughter,  but 
they  are  very  happy  together.  He  lived  a  country  life 
at  Becca  in  Yorkshire,  whence  he  sends  Hastings  speci- 
mens of  what  he  calls  "the  bee  and  fly  orcus's."  His 
father  the  Archbishop,  "  one  of  the  happiest  old  men 
in  the  world,"  died  at  a  good  old  age  in  1807,  and  his 
mother  was  a  wonderful  old  lady  who  made  an  autumnal 
journey  to  Becca  from  town  in  1809  in  an  open  barouche. 
But  in  1812  Markham  had  wholly  lost  the  use  of  his 
limbs,  and  in  1814  Baber  describes  him  as  paralyzed 
on  one  side,  helpless  and  inarticulate.  In  1815  his 
wife  writes  to  thank  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  for  their 
letters  of  condolence  on  his  death.  Her  eldest  son  is 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  437 

still  at  the  University — he  was  sent  to  Westminster  at 
the  age  of  seven — and  she  cannot  decide  on  her  future 
plans  until  he  is  of  age. 

Thompson's  was  also  a  hard  case.  His  frequent 
letters,  filled  with  family  and  farming  details,  have  kept 
the  reader  of  the  Correspondence  so  thoroughly  in  touch 
with  his  affairs,  that  it  is  with  a  shock  one  realises  that 
he  has  worse  troubles  than  the  ruinous  pressure  of  taxa- 
tion, or  even  the  loss  of  two  daughters  in  the  bloom  of 
their  youth.  His  monetary  difficulties  grow  worse  and 
worse.  He  tries  to  retrieve  his  position  by  joining  in 
a  scheme  for  raising  coal  in  Sussex,  between  Hastings 
and  Bexhill,  and  this  failing,  is  reduced  to  living  with  his 
family  on  a  series  of  loans  obtained  from  his  old  patron. 
In  his  efforts  at  retrenchment,  he  says,  he  is  "  wholly 
destitute  of  the  approval  and  cooperation  of  my  wife,'* 
to  whom  the  crash  was  mainly  due,  since  she  had  in- 
sisted on  their  living  on  a  scale  three  times  too  high 
for  their  income.  At  last  she  left  him,  taking  her  two 
daughters  with  her,  and  Hastings  and  other  friends  were 
called  in  to  arrange  a  separation,  which  was  necessary 
lest  Thompson  should  be  imprisoned  for  t  her  debts. 
"  Few  People,  so  happy  in  themselves  as  you  are,  have 
ever  been  more  tormented  by  the  wicked  dissensions  of 
other  people  than  you  have,"  writes  the  unhappy  hus- 
band. In  order  to  remove  Charlotte,  the  elder  surviv- 
ing daughter,  from  the  influence  of  her  mother,  who 
obliged  her  to  write  insulting  letters  to  her  father  at 
her  dictation,  it  was  arranged  that  she  should  go  out 
to  India — though  only  fourteen — with  her  brother  Anstey, 
under  the  care  of  Mr  Fendall,  a  civilian,  and  his  wife. 
Her  affectionate  letters  are  sent  on  by  Thompson  for 
Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  to  read,  and  all  his  anxiety  for 
her  future  was  at  an  end  when,  in  1819,  she  was  married 
to  John  D'Oyly.1  Mrs  Thompson  had  left  her  sons,  to 

1  John  D'Oyly's  second   wife  was  Charlotte    Thompson's   adopted   sister, 
Mary  Fendall. 


43$  LETTERS   OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 

whom  she  had  taken  an  extraordinary  dislike,  to  their 
father's  care,  but  on  her  death  in  1817,  though  her 
husband  was  admitted  to  her  presence,  she  deprived  him 
by  will  of  the  guardianship  of  their  youngest  daughter  in 
favour  of  her  son  Henry  Vansittart  and  his  wife.  This 
last  effort  of  malice  failed  of  its  full  effect,  for  Thompson 
was  allowed  by  his  stepson  to  see  the  little  girl  when  he 
wished,  and  the  last  letter  from  him,  in  1818,  leaves  him 
in  harbour  at  last,  established,  apparently,  as  secretary  to 
Lord  Rivers,  who  treats  him  with  the  greatest  considera- 
tion, and  has  allowed  him  to  invite  his  little  boys  to 
spend  the  holidays.1 

Major  Scott's  stormy  career  was  also  to  close  in  unex- 
pected quietness.  The  bustling  activity  which  made  him 
unhappy  when  he  was  not  attracting  attention,  and  his 
consequent  propensity  to  keep  himself  before  the  public 
by  making  speeches  in  and  out  of  season,  was  considered, 
as  Fanny  Burney  tells  us,  to  be  the  chief  cause  which 
precipitated  Burke's  grand  attack  on  Hastings  and 
brought  about  the  Impeachment.2  Whether  Hastings 
himself  felt  this  or  not,  his  friendship  with  Scott  did 
not  suffer.  Losing  his  seat  in  Parliament  in  1793,  on 
an  accusation  of  bribery,3  Scott  continued  to  act  for  him 
in  various  ways.  In  1794  Hastings  writes  to  entreat  him, 
for  the  sake  of  their  friendship,  to  raise  him  some  money 
with  which  to  pay  his  solicitor,  and  this  Scott  effected 
through  their  Indian  acquaintances  the  Sumners.  When 
the  Trial  was  over,  he  sent  in  a  bill  of  £  16,390  for  ex- 
penses incurred  on  Hastings'  behalf,  which  could  only  be 

1  The  engraving  of  Hastings  by  G.  T.  Stubbs,  here  reproduced,  is  supposed 
to  be  taken  from  the  equestrian  portrait  painted  for  Thompson,  who  refers  to 
the  "enamelled  picture  of  the  Arabian  horse,  with  you  riding  it,"  which  is  in 
his  possession,  and  says  that  it  is  a  poor  likeness.     It  was  being  painted  in 
1793,  during  the  Trial,  for  Thompson  begs  his  patron  to  give  the  artist  one 
more  sitting  "as  soon  as  you  return  to  London,  and  before  your  Countenance 
has  fallen  with  the  Abominations  of  that  vile  Place." 

2  An  undated  letter  of  this  period  shows,   however,  that   in   challenging 
Burke,  Scott  was  acting  under  Thurlow's  advice. 

3  A  prosecution  was  ordered,  but  does  not  seem  to  have  taken  place. 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  439 

met  by  the  mortgage  on  Daylesford  already  mentioned.1 
The  biographers  of  Charles  Reade,  Scott's  grandson,  in 
endeavouring  to  justify  his  memory  from  the  charge  of 
injuring  Hastings  by  his  ill-timed  energy,  have  put  for- 
ward a  wholly  illusory  theory  of  monetary  losses  inflicted 
on  Scott  by  Hastings,  and  imply  that  during  the  latter 
part  of  their  lives  they  were  no  longer  friends.  A  study 
of  the  Correspondence  would  have  shown  them  affection- 
ate letters  from  Mrs  Reade  and  her  sister  Mrs  Faber 
covering  the  last  twenty  years  of  Hastings'  life,  and 
from  Scott  himself,  breathing  as  much  devotion,  and 
almost  as  voluminous,  as  those  written  between  1781 
and  1785.  It  is  true  that  his  letters  become  compara- 
tively rare  during  a  period  of  some  twelve  years  before 
i8i3,2  but  the  cause  was  very  different  from  that  sug- 
gested. On  the  question  of  Scott's  unhappy  second 
marriage,  Hastings  seems  to  have  taken  the  part  of  the 
wife,  who  had  appealed  to  him  for  help.  She  appears  to 
have  been  addicted  to  drink,  but  it  would  also  seem  that 
her  husband's  treatment  had  driven  her  to  desperation. 
It  was  his  habit  to  entertain,  at  Peterborough  House, 
Fulham,  a  society  more  distinguished  for  brilliance  than 
respectability.  His  married  daughters  remained  at  a 
distance,  but  on  their  stepmother's  tragic  death  they 
did  their  best  to  improve  matters.  "  It  is  most  natural," 
says  Mrs  Reade,  "we  should  desire  our  dear  Parent  to 
retrace  his  Steps,  and  live  in  all  the  endearing  charities 
of  life."  .  .  .  "My  sister  Augusta  seems  a  very  sweet 
Girl,  and  I  offered  to  take  the  charge  of  her. — Patience 
must  be  my  Motto,  in  time  I  hope  to  regain  my  Father's 

1  See  supra,  p.  91.     The  undated  letters  show  a  momentary  feeling  of  sore- 
ness in  Scott's  mind  at  this  time.     A  sum  of  £12,000,  which  Mrs  Hastings 
had  saved  without  her  husband's  knowledge,  had  been  entrusted  to  him  for 
investment.     He  used  it  for  the  expenses  of  the  Trial,  and  felt  much  injured 
when  she  asked  for  it  back.     How  the  dispute  was  arranged  does  not  appear, 
but  it  is  evident  that  no  grudge  remained. 

2  In  1810  he  assures  Hastings  that  he  has  no  hand  in  his  children's  demand 
for  the  repayment  of  the  bond  already  mentioned  (p.  91). 


44°  LETTERS   OF   WARREN   HASTINGS. 

affection,  and  see  him  with  his  old  friends."  Her  sister 
Mrs  Faber,  she  mentions,  is  more  sanguine,  and  hopes 
to  drive  away,  as  with  a  magic  wand,  "the  unworthy 
herd  that  infest  Peterborough  House."  Their  father  is 
reducing  his  establishment  and  talking  of  selling  the 
house,  and  they  hope  he  will  be  able  to  live  comfortably 
on  the  remains  of  his  once  handsome  fortune,  though 
they  resent  deeply  his  having  charged  his  Cheshire 
estate  with  a  provision  of  £40,000  for  the  children  of 
his  second  marriage,  while  he  is  demanding  from  his 
elder  sons  the  repayment  of  the  sum  advanced  for  their 
Indian  outfits.  He  completed  his  reformation  character- 
istically enough,  by  marrying  an  actress  with  a  past,  but 
his  daughters  still  try  to  make  the  best  of  it.  "  My  father 
and  Mrs  Waring  have  been  here,"  writes  Mrs  Reade, 
"and  met  Mr  Hervey  and  Lady  Arabella.  My  friend 
was  very  kind  in  her  Manner  to  Mrs  Waring,  and  hers, 
as  it  ought  to  be,  diffident  and  proper.  For  the  good 
of  society  I  am  aware  she  ought  not  to  be  received,  but 
there  is  nothing  in  her  Conversation  and  manner  that 
would  lead  one  to  "  remember  her  earlier  career.1  "  My 
father's  party,"  says  Mrs  Faber,  who  is  expecting  a  visit 
from  him,  "will  consist  of  himself,  his  bride,  my  half- 
sister  Augusta,  and  Miss  Hamilton,  Mrs  Scott  Waring's 
daughter.  The  many  anecdotes  which  we  have  heard  in 
favor  of  Mrs  Scott  Waring  from  our  different  friends  on 
the  borders,  who  have  connections  and  intercourse  with 
Scotland,  have  very  much  reconciled  me  to  my  father's 
marriage.  His  home  too,  with  such  uncontrollable  spirits 
as  John  and  Augusta,  bid  fair  to  be  as  wretched  as  it  had 
been  for  the  last  seventeen  years.  His  present  helpmate 
is  sedulously  striving  to  ingratiate  herself  with  her  hus- 
band's family;  this  clearly  proves  she  had  no  sinister 
views  in  marrying  my  father.  Indeed  she  was  well  aware 

1  Mrs  Waring's  stormy  youth  must  have  been  long  past  at  the  time  of  her 
marriage,  since  Kelly  the  actor  mentions  in  his  Reminiscences  that  she  had 
already  quitted  the  stage  in  1803,  when  she  entertained  him  at  Musselburgh. 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  44! 

that  even  the  wreck  of  his  once  large  fortune  was  no 
longer  at  his  own  disposal.  She  brought  him  an  annual 
increase  of  £2,000  during  her  daughter's  minority,  1500 
afterwards."  Having  thus  rehabilitated  himself,  Scott 
resumes  his  frequent  correspondence,  punctiliously  send- 
ing "  Mrs  Waring's  best  compliments "  in  every  letter. 
He  has  once  more  found  an  object  for  his  energies, 
in  defending  the  Church  of  England  against  the 
wicked  encroachments  of  the  Bible  Society  and  the 
Church  Missionary  Society!  A  little  personal  feeling 
may  have  mingled  with  his  polemics,  since  he  explains 
that  under  the  head  of  the  Evangelical  Clergy  and 
Laity,  "  I  include  my  neighbour  Mr  Owen  (the  Rev. 
John  Owen),  my  Daughters,  and  their  Husbands." 
Presently  he  makes  a  disagreeable  discovery.  "  My 
Daughter  Anne,  who  is  a  little  tinctured  with  Enthusi- 
asm, and  a  decided  and  good  Evangelical,  boasts  that 
she  has  made  a  convert  of  you,  and  Mrs  Hastings,  to 
the  Bible  Society.  ...  I  have  had  many  arguments 
with  her,  and  Mr  Owen  on  this  Subject,  and  am  still 
maintaining  my  Opinion,  that  this  is  the  most  mischiev- 
ous Society  ever  formed,  and  must  in  the  End,  destroy 
the  Church,  and  probably  the  Constitution."  What  the 
threatened  Church  and  Constitution  thought  of  their 
defender  does  not  appear,  but  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings 
continued  to  subscribe  to  the  Bible  Society.  Scott  died 
in  1819,  and  in  his  case,  as  in  Sir  John  D'Oyly's,  his 
friendship  with  Hastings  is  recalled  in  his  obituary  notice. 
If  Hastings  was  made  an  unwilling  party  to  the 
matrimonial  disputes  of  some  of  his  friends,  he  had  a 
more  agreeable  part  to  play  in  furthering  the  love-affairs 
of  their  children.  Curiously  enough,  the  marriages  of 
Charles  Imhoff  and  Charles  D'Oyly  were  those  that 
threatened  most  difficulty.  Mrs  Hastings  had  her  own 
views  for  her  son's  future,  and  the  daughter  of  the 
bankrupt  Sir  Charles  Blunt  found  no  place  in  them, 
but  she  was  at  length  induced  to  allow  him  to  choose 


442  LETTERS   OF  WARREN    HASTINGS. 

for  himself.  "  I  saw  Imhoff  and  his  wife,"  writes 
Thompson  in  1797,  "  as  happy  apparently  as  mutual 
Affection  could  make  them.  —  Imhoff  did  not  mistake 
his  own  Disposition.  —  He  has  often  said,  'Thompson! 
if  I  am  permitted  to  marry  the  Woman  of  my  Choice  I 
shall  be  the  most  domestic  Man  living.' — Mrs  Hastings 
was  wise  and  good  enough  to  indulge  him. — Her  Vertue 
has  thus  secured  his,  and  ensured  I  hope  the  Happiness 
of  both."  Hastings  mentions  "the  composed  content 
of  Charles — the  animated  content  of  his  wife,"  and  in 
writing  to  the  young  man  himself,  congratulates  him  that 
his  "  Charlotte  has  a  contented  and  well  formed  heart, 
that  could  extract  pleasure  from  the  trifles  and  even  the 
cares  of  life."  Lady  Imhoff  proved  herself  the  tenderest 
of  daughters-in-law.  She  nursed  Hastings  in  his  last 
illness,  and  a  letter  of  hers,  "  blistered  with  tears,"  says 
Gleig,  conveyed  to  David  Anderson  the  details  of  his 
friend's  last  hours. 

Charles  D'Oyly's  marriage  to  his  cousin  Marian  Greer 
was  very  distasteful  to  his  parents,  not  only  on  account 
of  the  youth  of  the  bridegroom,  but  also  because  there 
were  differences  between  the  two  families.  Mr  and  Mrs 
Hastings,  knowing  both  the  young  people,  welcomed 
their  union  with  a  delight  which  wounded  Sir  John  and 
Lady  D'Oyly.  An  early  marriage  could  do  nothing  but 
good  to  a  young  man  in  India,  provided  he  were  content 
to  live  in  a  moderate  style,  wrote  Hastings,  and  he  pro- 
ceeded to  give  Charles  much  good  advice  on  the  subject  of 
moderation  in  entertaining  and  going  into  society,  which 
the  young  man  disregarded  until  it  was  recalled  to  his 
mind  by  the  pressure  of  debt.  Not  content  with  giving 
good  advice,  Hastings  succeeded  in  effecting  a  reconcilia- 
tion between  the  parents  on  both  sides,  and  the  marriage 
proved  a  very  happy  one.  Marian  D'Oyly  died  at  the 
beginning  of  1814,  "after  a  brief  union  and  long  attach- 
ment," writes  Mrs  Fenton  in  1827. l  "  She  was,  I  am 

1  The  Journal  of  Mrs  Fenton.     Edward  Arnold,  1901. 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  443 

informed,  a  most  lovely  woman,  with  talents  of  the  first 
order ;  they  were  united  as  fondly  by  love  as  by  com- 
munity of  feeling  and  taste,  and  lived  in  so  much  happi- 
ness, that  to  his  domestic  and  sedentary  habits,  a  state 
of  widowhood  and  destitution  of  social  comfort  was  in- 
supportable. I  have  heard  that  when  dying,  she  pointed 
out  the  present  Lady  D'Oyly  as  the  person  most  likely  to 
make  him  happy,  and  after  a  short  time  he  married  the 
beautiful  Miss  Ross.  I  believe  her  relation  and  guardian, 
the  Marquis  of  Hastings,  did  not  approve  of  her  choice, 
as  some  more  wealthy  suitors  sought  her  hand,  and  Sir 
Charles  was  much  encumbered  by  the  debts  of  his  father. 
She  had  fixed  her  choice  and  they  were  married ;  few 
things  have  interested  me  so  much  as  to  hear  her  with 
eloquent  affection  speak  of  his  first  wife  and  dwell  upon 
her  beauty,  talent  and  goodness  of  heart,  and  speak  of 
the  affliction  Sir  Charles  had  suffered,  and  the  tenderness 
he  still  regarded  her  memory  with."  Sir  Charles  seems 
to  have  been  peculiarly  fortunate  in  both  his  marriages, 
but  in  the  only  letter  in  the  Correspondence  which  refers 
to  the  second  (written  about  1817),  all  he  says  is,  "After 
the  affliction  I  experienced  in  the  loss  of  one  of  the 
brightest  ornaments  of  human  Nature  who  is  now  reaping 
that  happiness  which  this  world  could  never  under  any 
circumstances  have  afforded,  I  ought  and  do  I  hope 
sufficiently  bless  Heaven  in  having  given  me  a  Companion 
who  devotes  herself  to  render  me  happy.  Her  disposition 
is  warm  and  affectionate,  and  her  care  and  attention  to 
my  beloved  Father  claim  my  gratitude."  Bishop  Heber, 
who  stayed  with  the  D'Oylys  at  Bankipur,  calls  Sir 
Charles  "the  best  gentleman -artist  I  ever  met  with." 
He  had  the  advantage,  in  1808,  of  continuous  instruction 
from  "  a  very  able  artist  of  the  name  of  Chinnery,"  and 
he  sends  Hastings  various  specimens  of  his  skill,  notably 
a  picture  of  "  the  large  Bannian  Tree  at  Allipoor,  an  old 
acquaintance  of  yours." 

Many   were    the    young   people   who    gathered   round 


444  LETTERS   OF  WARREN   HASTINGS. 

Hastings  at  Daylesford,  and  in  later  life  handed  down 
to  their  descendants  a  heart-felt  veneration  for  his  name. 
Even  nowadays  one  comes  across  the  name  itself  trans- 
mitted in  the  families  of  a  Markham,  a  Wheler,  a  D'Oyly, 
a  Middleton,  but  in  the  generation  immediately  succeed- 
ing his  there  can  scarcely  have  been  an  Anglo-Indian 
household  which  did  not  number  a  Hastings  or  a  Marian, 
or  both,  among  its  members. 1  Young  men  and  girls 
seem  to  have  taken  to  him  instinctively,  and  in  letters 
from  distant  parts  of  the  world  recall  his  kindness  and 
the  happiness  they  had  enjoyed  when  visiting  him.  "The 
days  I  passed  at  Daylesford,"  writes  the  son  of  his  old 
friend  Randolph  Marriott,  "will  be  ever  counted  among 
those  of  the  happiest  of  my  Life — and  the  Lessons  of 
Virtue  and  resignation  to  the  divine  Will,  which  I  hourly 
saw  carried  into  Practise,  not  only  afforded  me  the  highest 
mental  Enjoyment  at  the  Moment,  but  will,  I  trust  and 
hope  make  me  a  better  Man  through  the  Remainder  of 
my  Life."  The  home  life  at  Daylesford  seems,  indeed, 
from  the  many  descriptions  of  it,  to  have  been  almost 
ideal.  "  My  imagination  is  enraptured,"  writes  Thomp- 
son, "  whilst  it  beholds  you  seated  with  your  dear  Mrs 
Hastings  in  her  beautiful  Flower  Garden,  and  enjoying 
in  its  maturity  the  paradise  of  your  own  creation."  The 
visitors  received  under  its  hospitable  roof  were  of  all 
classes,  from  the  Duke  of  Gloucester  and  the  Orleans 
Princes — "the  best  informed,  and  as  well  tempered  and 
easy-mannered  men  as  any  that  I  ever  met  with  " — to 
the  old  Indian  acquaintance  with  whom  the  world  had 
dealt  hardly,  but  all  were  united  in  David  Anderson's 
opinion  "  that  plain  Mr  Hastings  in  circumstances  rather 
straitened  is  the  noblest  and  most  illustrious  Sequel  to 
the  Character  of  the  late  Governor  General  of  India." 
Writing  to  Sir  John  D'Oyly  in  1813  of  "the  triumph 

1  Mr  and  Mrs  Hastings  were  both  sponsors  to  Thompson's  eldest  son 
Anstey,  Mrs  Hastings  to  his  eldest  daughter  Marian,  Hastings  to  the  second, 
Louisa,  and  both  again  to  the  third  son,  Warren  Hastings. 


CONCLUDING   CHAPTER.  445 

which  our  great  friend  has  obtained  over  all  his  enemies,'* 
Thompson  says,  "  He  has  not  I  believe  one  remaining. 
Those  whom  death  hath  spared,  remorse  has  converted 
into  friends,  and  I  am  most  perfectly  convinced  there  is 
not  at  this  moment  a  Man  in  England  the  worth  of  whose 
private  and  public  character  is  more  universally  and  in- 
disputably admitted  than  his  is."  The  host's  own  feelings 
are  reflected  in  "  a  sentiment  borrowed  from  a  favourite 
German  (poet)  of  Mrs  Hastings's  "  : — 

"  Why  should  I  mourn  my  lot,  who  daily  see, 
That  all  who  love  their  God  are  friends  to  me  ? 
Or  why  repine  to  know,  as  well  I  know, 
That  every  thorough  scoundrel  is  my  foe?" 


APPENDIX    I. 

THE    RELATIVES    OF    WARREN    HASTINGS. 


TABLE  A. — RELATIVES  ON  THE  FATHER'S  SIDE. 


PENYSTON  HASTINGS  (c.  1700),  m.  Miss  CRESWICKE.* 


SAMUEL  H. 


HONOUR  H. 


Rev.  PENYSTON  H., 
m.  ?  Miss  GARDINER.* 


WILLIAM  H. 
Rev.  JAMES  H. 

HOWARD  H.,                      ELIZ.  H.3 
m.  JANE  TERRY. 

Rev.  PENYSTON  H.5 
m.  HESTER  WARREN. 
1 

i 

ANN  H., 
n.  JOHN  WOODMAN. 

WARREN  HASTINGS. 

WM.  WARREN  H. 
W.  BURROWS  H. 

\ 
6  other 
Sons.       m. 

THOS.  W.,6 
LOUISE  v.  CHAPUSET. 
1 

ELIZ.  W., 
m.  Rev.  MYERS. 

\ 
MARIAN. 

CHARLOTTE  ? 

WARREN  H.  WOODMAN-HASTINGS. 

Rev.  WARREN  HASTINGS.2 


Daughters. 


1.  Gleig  mentions,  with  his  usual  vagueness,  that  the  connec- 
tion of  Hastings'  family  with  that  of  his  guardian,  Mr  Creswicke, 
sprang  from  the  marriage  of  his  great-grandfather  with  a  lady  of 
that  name  (I.  12).     He  spells  it  persistently  Chiswick,  in  which 
he  has  been  followed  by  all  subsequent   biographers,   though 
there  is  no  ambiguity  whatever  in  the  MSS.     Colonel  Malleson 
notes   that  a  letter  written   by   Hastings   from   Murshidabad  is 
addressed  "  Creswick,"  but  thinks  this  was  done  by  mistake ! 

2.  The  Rev.  Warren  Hastings,  Rector  of  Maidwell,  Northants, 
the  descendant  of  the  elder  brother  of  Hastings'  grandfather,  is 
the  present  male  representative  of  the  family. 


APPENDIX   I.  447 

3.  Mrs  Elizabeth  Hastings  died  in   1798.     She  is  frequently 
mentioned  in  the  Woodmans'  letters  as  "  Aunt  Hastings,"  and 
Hastings    sends    her   presents    of   snuff.      He    allowed    her   an 
annuity  of  £200  a  year. 

4.  If  Penyston  Hastings  the  second  married  a  Miss  Gardiner, 
it  would  be  her  brother,  described  as  "his  uncle,  Harry  Gard- 
ner," with  whom  (and  others)  Penyston  the  third  conspired  to 
assign  his  children's  money  for  the  payment  of  his  own  debts. 
See  Note  i  on  Table  B.     The  William  Gardiner  killed  at  Lahar 
would  probably  be  a  grandson  of  this  Harry,  and  so  also  would 
be  the  Christopher  Gardiner  who  writes  as  a  kinsman  to  con- 
gratulate Hastings  on  his  acquittal. 

5.  Penyston  Hastings  the  third  appears  to  have  been  a  man- 
vais  sujet.     Sir  C.  Lawson  has  cleared  him  from  the  charge  of 
having  married  at  fifteen,  but  shows  that  after  his  wife's  death  he 
left  his  children  to  starve.     Gleig  says  (I.  6)  that  within  a  short 
time    he   is   found    married   again    to    a    Gloucester   butcher's 
daughter,   and  there  is    a  letter  to   Hastings  in    1813   from  a 
woman  named  Julia  Ancwright,  of  Chester,  who  says  that  her 
mother,  Ellen  Hastings,  who  married  "a  person  of  the  name  of 
Dennis  of  Sproxton,"  was  his  sister,  and  asks  help  to  establish 
herself  in  business.     If  the  story  was  genuine,  Ellen  Hastings 
must  have  been  a  daughter  of  Penyston  by  his  second  marriage. 

6.  For  Thomas  Woodman  and   his   marriage,  see  Appendix 
III. 


LETTERS    OF   WARREN    HASTINGS. 


TABLE  B. — RELATIVES  ON  THE  MOTHER'S  SIDE. 

THOMAS  WARREN  of  Stubhill,  m.  ANN  FLETCHER.! 

j 

THOMAS  W.2       HESTER  W.,                     ANN  W.,                 ELIZ.  W.,           JOHN  W.,» 
of  Stubhill.          m.  PENYSTON  m.  JOHN  TURNER.        m.  WALTER  m. . 


HASTINGS. 


OAKLEY 
of  Birmingham. 


ANN  H.,  WARREN